First thing I did when I got up on 14th Jan was sent a birthday wish sms to Ayong. Later during the day, she responded telling me she got two belated days off from her annual leave which she had to spent. We decided to spend next day at Bukit Tinggi.
We have never been to the place before. Just heard about the privately developed highland with some
French castles and medieval styled buildings ...
and French bistro lined street [hmm ..no appropriate pics. Will go back there soon for another quiet stroll and better pics]
It started raining swords and daggers in the afternoon. I was hoping it would subside by evening. It just got heavier however and I had to brace the swords and the daggers and reached her place very late in the night.
We had wanted to leave very early in the morning for the highland, but the warmth of the bed just got the better of us. After a leisure breakfast of last night's 'tapaued' dinner [on the way,I stopped at Dapur Kita for my fav Som Tam (fresh papaya salad) and kung fu kway teow plus tiga rasa quail on the side for the birthday girl - her office mates had surprised her with a cake in the afternoon].
We arrived at Colmar Tropicale at about eleven. The day was cloudy with cool breeze. Very nice weather for quiet stroll. There were no other visitors except for the employees and few couples of lodgers. We had the place pretty much to ourselves.
The towering castle and the design of the tall buldings was quite impressive.
Reminded me of the buildings in Amsterdam and Milan when I visited there in the late 90's.
There were two couples of swan. One white and the other black. They looked bored in a small enclosure. Wonder why they didn't fly away.
This is the smaller of the black swan couple. It is friendlier than its much bigger size mate which came charging at us.
These two whites were just content to preen themselves oblivious to the goings on around them. Familiar?
Our actual plan was to have a special lunch. Since the place is French themed [despite the chinese red lanterns filling up the entire overhead stretch of the alley], Ayong set her mind to have some French lunch [when asked what constitutes French lunch ... answer was pasta]. Excuse the confusion there! Obviously somebody messed up [mashed is more like it, ;D] our world cuisine repertoire.
We picked a place under a pergola with tables covered with dark green and cream chequered tablecloth [somehow I associate those colours with drinking coffee in the streets of the foreign places I visited]. However, being a weekday, the section was not opened. We decided to sit inside. Three waiters rushed to take our orders.
The food was a great disappointment. The seabass fillet Ayong ordered tasted like rehydrated salted fish. The mashed potato was papery. I ordered the season's offer of sweet sour garoupa fillet with rice. The garoupa was better than the seabass but the rice was worse than the potato.
The bad food was compensated by a group of musicians [one even played cello] who did the birthday song for Ayong. It was out of our imagination. That only happens in movies, not to us. [the only snag was the group was from the Philippines - my husband married a Philippine GRO].
Here's Ayong after being serenaded.
After lunch we took the shuttle provided and went on a tour to the Japanese village. It was well worth it
We managed the Botanical Garden and the Japanese Tea house.
Ayong paid twenty ringgit for a half hour photography session in kimono at the Japanese tea house. The camera ran out of battery! Luckily the 'Geisha' suggested the use of our phone camera. Unlucky because she was not a good photographer. The pics didn't turn out well. I managed a few last shot with the camera
This is what happened when one has too much money and too little culture. Why bother to built a French themed place and decorate the street such. I bet every brick and every cobble in the street were screaming murder at the insult. Oh well, Berjaya Group owns the place and it is after all Singapore based - a model of true multiracial country where meritocracy is the order of the day.
Here we are mum at twice the daughter's days and daughter at half of mum's. Happy Birthday my Jewel.