Archive | December, 2012

Nike Air vs BobaAir

31 Dec
How thin and light a BobaAir carrier is

How thin and light a BobaAir carrier is. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Putting my 17-month-old baby into BobaAir. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Putting my 17-month-old baby into BobaAir. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

If you are into sports, you would have owned a pair of Nike Air during the 90s. It made you feel at least 0.3412kg lighter and psychologically perform better if not made you look cooler that your team mates who are not wearing one, right? BobaAir is nothing close to that. Well at least it is the lightest and coolest baby carrier in the world. As what the manufacturer claimed, it is “simple to use, ultra lightweight and ergonomic! The perfect carrier for travelers or any parent on the go – when you’re done, just fold, zip & stash”. This time I have to disagree with the ergonomic part. Since I’ve written two product reviews on Boba products (Boba Wrap & Boba Carrier), why not write another one on BobaAir for the benefit of many demanding young & active parents nowadays? As promised, like any other post or reviews in this blog they are simply my honest opinion.

Baby is ready and secured in BobaAir. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Baby is ready and secured in BobaAir. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

In short, BobaAir is a nice-to-have baby carrier if you have those extra cash to burn. It is as light and compact as your foldable shopping bag. Therefore, it’ll fit into your handbag or baby bag comfortably in case if your baby suddenly decides not to walk or sit in their stroller. It cost half of a normal Boba Carrier and has that Boba’s neat cutting and design. BobaAir is the perfect baby carrier if you want to take your baby along to Pasar Tani or any outdoor activities because the material used is very light & cooling. However, I would not recommend BobaAir to be used as your main baby carrier or to be used for a long period of time. It does not have any paddings or cushion at the pressure points which will make you feel tired faster. After trying it for a few times with my 1 year old baby, she obviously did not feel comfortable in it.

Whatever your decision is, hope that you had a wonderful 2012 and wishing you a very happy new year!

Tucking away BobaAir by unfolding the pocket first. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Tucking away BobaAir by unfolding the pocket first. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Simply fold and roll BobaAir into pocket. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

Simply fold and roll BobaAir into pocket. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

BobaAir is ready to be kept in your handbag or BabyBag. So light and does not take up space. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

BobaAir is ready to be kept in your handbag or BabyBag. So light and does not take up space. Photo by Ariffin Aris Visuals.

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Dive Culture’s 1st Batch of Open-Water Scuba-diving Students

13 Dec

Besides the love for photography, my husband, Ipin is very passionate about water sports, particularly wave surfing and scuba-diving. I’m glad that we at least share one common interest, which is scuba-diving and we are happy that we can share our activities with our children. No photos of them in this post as I was very occupied with them, no time to think to take photos. Our bonus is when we marry photography and scuba-diving to get paid jobs for underwater photography. Therefore, Dive Culture is your Malaysia’s child-friendly & family-oriented centre to get your open-water scuba diving license under SDI or even learn underwater photography. Read here about Ipin’s scuba-diving instructorship by SDI or some of his underwater photography activities & tips here. We even pair-up with Photo Travel, a photography tour agent to organize Underwater Photography trips in Malaysia for our photography-enthusiast tourists.

Instructor - Ipin explaining to students on the functions of regulator, second stage and gauges available

Instructor – Ipin explaining to students on the functions of regulator, second stage and gauges available

 

Dive Culture’s 1st batch of open-water students consist of 6 male students between the age of 33 years-old and 45 years-old.  Ipin was the instructor and I was the Rescue Diver in-training while our children will always be our die-hard supporters after our long-tiring day from work. Our children come in a package whenever we go on a job assignment for more than 1 night. That is why the places that we choose to stay must be clean, comfortable and have some activities for the children to do while we are working. Scuba-diving destination: Pulau Tioman, Resort: Salang Pusaka and Dive Centre: Scuba Naut.

Ipin demonstrating on how to use a BCD by one of his students.

Ipin demonstrating on how to use a BCD by one of his students.

We left Kuala Lumpur about 2.30am and met up with the rest of the participants at the Seremban Highway. Pulau Tioman is the closest scuba-diving island from Kuala Lumpur compared to Pulau Redang, Pulau Tenggol, Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Langkawi. By the time it was sunrise, we have already reached the jetty in Mersing, Johore. I love the smell of the morning breeze especially if it is next to the sea. The nasi lemak, roti canai and teh tarik simply complements the whole satisfying experience. One thing I have to remind travelers that there is no free trolley service available to transport your heavy scuba-diving equipment and luggage from your car onto the ferry. It is either you carry them yourself with your roller-diving bags or pay RM5 per use of trolley for rent from the boat operator there. I personally think that this is all rubbish and the ferry operator should provide the trolley FOC for their passengers instead of charging a pathetic condition trolley for RM5. That was not all, even as you arrived at the jetty in Salang there will be no service to assist you carry your heavy loads to your respective resorts. Apparently that is a common practice. I experienced the same thing when we stayed with Salang Sayang and again with Salang Pusaka, despite calling them to inform that our group will be arriving in 30 minutes time. Once you reach at Salang jetty, be prepared to wait for another at least 15 minutes before the resort come to assist you with your loads. If you can’t wait, of course you can always carry them yourself for about 100 metres. Then, there will be another 15-30 minutes of waiting before checking in. Sense of urgency is almost non-existence. Since I’m a Malaysian and used to incompetency of hospitality services in Malaysia, I’ve mentally prepared myself and ensure that these incidents will not demotivate our scuba-diving trip. I’m writing this too to help readers who have not experienced the Malaysian Hospitality to be mentally prepared and focus on the great adventure you are about to experience here, especially the underwater world.

Students gearing up for the 1st time for their confined water session.

Students gearing up for the 1st time for their confined water session.

What I really like about Salang Pusaka layout is they have a few wakaf or gazebo in between their chalets. Each wakaf is equipped with power outlet, lights, table and some with benches. It is a perfect place to conduct our classroom sessions with the sea breeze and all the students’ chalet are facing the 5-steps-away-wakaf. I love it more as I can check on my children and vice-versa whenever we need each other while classroom session is on-going. The balcony at each chalet gives ample space for scuba-divers to hang-dry their equipment and wetsuits. Salang Pusaka’s restaurant is famous for their BBQ dinner. Great food, friendly service and reggae&Jack Johnson-songs ambience. What else to ask for after a day of beautiful dives?

One of the students underwater doing OK sign

One of the students underwater doing OK sign

Back to our 1st batch of students. Thank you Mamad for the camera & photos. I have learnt that never take your health condtion for granted especially before scuba-diving as the results will not lie. Please have enough rest, sleep, drink more water and eat well. Unfortunately, out of 6 students we had 1 was down with flu and fever. Failing to equalized the ears during descend made the condition worse. Day 2, another student failed to overcome his fear for water. This is when I feel that mental and emotional strength are very important before pursuing this extreme sports. It may look easy at first but the process of mastering the skills might be quite challenging for some. Once you’ve earned your license, I can guarantee you that your dives will be very rewarding. Day 3, we were down with 4 students only and one of them was trying hard to overcome his motion sickness. He was vomiting while diving several times and persevered to complete his certification. I really admire his determination and mental strength throughout the course. The key was to remain calm underwater at all time.

Ipin teaching students underwater

Ipin teaching students underwater

Since the monsoon season is here now, Dive Culture still takes in student to do their theory and confined water in swimming pool in Kuala Lumpur. We are also excited to have a 12-year-old student with us. All the students-in-waiting are just eager for the monsoon season to be over in February next year. Till then you can find us hitting the swimming pool almost every weekend. Come and join in the fun, enquire within!

Some of bonus experience when you get the tropical fishes accompanying you while doing your confined water session. Splendid!

Some of bonus experience when you get the tropical fishes accompanying you while doing your confined water session. Splendid!