WELCOME ME HOME! I am now back in Kuala Lumpur after a lovely 2 week holiday in Holland where I did very little and ate a lot and thoroughly enjoyed my getaway shopping with Princess Dr Becky Leogardo who sponsored my trip as usual and playing with my godson Daniel Mantz as the 1 year old twins, also my godkids, are too small to play and can't speak apart from 'Papa' and not 'Mama' to Princess Becky's annoyance!
Historic photo; Michael Mantz with ALL his 5 children, Eduard, Christiaan, Daniel, Raphael and Gloria and lovely wife Princess Dr Becky Leogardo!
Another picture, this time with Daniel smirking away
The red roses match her RM 198,000 Birkin crocodile bag purchased in Hong Kong
Michael Mantz does a bit of modelling at his Sunday lunch party at Flamingo
Gloria Mantz in traditional Dutch wooden clogs at Delft, Holland
Raphael Mantz walks steady at Delft, Holland
Trucks and cars tycoon Noh van Vliet, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and Michael Mantz in Van Vliet's office
Looking gorgeous as usual, Kee Hua Chee and Princess Becky at Wassernar Village, The Hague
Stacey with her magnificent assets that need no explaining what they are, Kee Hua Chee who loves big boobs if only to admire and Beth. The girls are English models who took photos of my clothes as they were stunned speechless to see my faces painted all over my shirt, pants and shoes. Even my underwear...
I must say we are truly a Terror Threesome. Taken at Maxie cafe in Pieter Cornelius Hooft street, the main shopping heart of Amsterdam
Our favourite Hermes man in Amsterdam; Marcel Altenberg, Princess Becky, Daniel Mantz and Kee Hua Chee in Hermes boutique
Marcel Altenberg and Princess Becky with her custom made red and black Hermes Birkin
Menno Born and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo who ordered a purple crocodile Hermes Birkin bag to be delivered end 2012 from Menno Born who loved it when I said he is 'To the Manor Born'
At the Albert Heijn supermarket in The Hague, Princess Becky and Michael Mantz bought everything in the trolley...
A wink from the boy who is getting all the chocolates
Shopping in Amsterdam or anywhere is a breeze when you bring 2 nannies along
Kee Hua Chee with the King of Grand Place in Brussels, Belgium
Lunch in Brussels, Belgium at Copenhagen Cafe with Janinka, Michael Mantz and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo
Kee Hua Chee in full animal outfit at Grand Square in Brussels, Belgium
The magnificent Grand Place with Michael Mantz
The Mantz family in Delft with their children and 2 nannies flown over from Kuala Lumpur as I am a photographer, not baby sitter
Strolling along a canal street in Delft
Michael Mantz and Daniel Mantz feeding pigeons at Gouda Square
Michael Mantz must have booked the entire Gouda Square to take this rare photo of City Hall with no one around
Gouda cheese is world famous and the bigger they are, the better
Delicious Indian food at Kashmir restaurant in The Hague
Father and son enjoying a sunny moment
Sibling love between Daniel and Gloria Mantz
At the farewell dinner at Simonis in The Hague by the beach hosted by Michael Mantz
Top model Adut, her 3 year old son Dashun and Kee Hua Chee
Holland or Netherlands which means ‘low land’ which is perfectly named as this wealthy and successful nation has everything except mountains so think of Holland as a very flat Switzerland.
I always thought the song ‘the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains’ should refer to Netherlands rather than that Iberian nation whose terrain can be craggy and mountainous unlike Holland’s monotonous scenery that stretches as far as the eye can see and is as aeroplane runway-flat as the chests of some models I know. How ironic these runway models usually have no boobs to boast off and their bosom are comparable to an airport’s runway.
The Mantz family with Eduard's girlfriend Bernadijn and two nannies
Only for the family! Even I was not allowed to be in!
Happy family; Eduard, Raphael, Michael, Christiaan, Glioria, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo and Daniel Mantz
All happy except Daniel Mantz...
Now he is happy, playing with the toy castle hand made for him by big brother Christiaan Mantz
Daniel Mantz with Christiaan who made this castle for him
Lucky Daniel to have big brother like Christiaan
Daniel opening his present earlier on
Eduard Mantz, his girlfriend Bernadijn, Princess Becky in Michael Ong dress, Janinka and Turkish lawyer Canaan
Newly weds Ellis and Marteen Stam with baby Philip
Handsome Eduard who works in London and his girlfriend Bernadijn in the same company, how convenient.
The Dutch are famously tall and I am just around Steve's armpit
Michael Mantz booked the Flamingo conservatory for his Sunday lunch to celebrate the gathering of all of his 5 children
Michael Mantz still remembers his modelling days when he was the toast of Holland
He was the first male supermodel before putting on weight and losing his career as model so he became a lawyer instead
Steve, husband of Linda, shows Abot how it is done
It is done like this ok?
Betty, sister in law of Michael Mantz, also took to a bit of catwalking
Adut, Princess Dr Becky Leogardo, Akec Deng and Abot
Michael Mantz, his landlord Dolf Wit and wife
During the music recital, only Gloria Mantz was interested...
Michael's elder brother Ernst and Christiaan also performed
Michael Mantz is a world class cymbalun player
Here he plays with the Lincan Gypsy Band and his son Christiaan
Adut, her sister Abot and mother Akec Deng and Princess Dr Becky Leogardo discuss the possibility of establishing her skincare line BML in Juba, capital of South Sudan
Black beauties Abok and Adut
Discussing business at Flamingo
Princess Becky owns 2 lines, BML and Alexa
Flawless back skin!
Gloria pulls her cousin Philip towards her for a kiss
Whispering sweet nothings...
Now Gloria goes for Philip's legs...
The twins with their minders Luchie and Linda in Delft Square
Daniel has 40 winks at King's Cafe in Delft
But wakes in time for the photo
Michael Mantz buys some raw herring
Raw herring and bits of onions? Sounds and looks dreadful!
I wanted to throw up at this ghastly sight but he said that is how he felt when I eat durian!
Yummy, says Michael Mantz. Yuuch, says me
I was choking when I took this photo
Only the tail is not eaten unless you are very hungry
Kee Hua Chee at Delft Square
After lunch in Amsterdam main shopping street
Father an d son entering the theme park in The Hague
Daniel enjoying the great outdoor at Wassenar
My new, loaded friends Beth and Stacey
My handsome godson, the world's most handsome child
She is not too bad either
Cheesy smile at Gouda
Stocking up on Gouda cheese and specialties
Kee Hua Chee in Gouda Square
Father and son in Gouda
Only Daniel bothered to smile as his parents concentrated on food at Kashmir
Kee Hua Chee and his godson somewhere in The Hague
Adut, her son Dashun and sister Abok
Abok, Kee Hua Chee and Adut
Mrs and Mr Dolf Wit, Michael Mantz and Akec Deng
Michael Mantz making his welcome speech at the Sunday lunch he hosted at Flamingo, one of the best restaurants in The Hague
The welcome speech
As usual, there are jokes galore
Hail to the chief!
A toast to his family and friends!Yamseng and skol!
As music is important to the host, I took these pair of violins
Here's to all of us!
Congrats to Steve and Linda and their soon to come Baby!
Gloria checks out Adut's hair
At the head table
Brother in law Ernst giving presents to Princess Becky and her children
Gloria is not impressed as she digs her nose in disdain
We all love pressies!
Mother and daughter show off Ernst's presents
Christiaan is not impressed either as he knows he is not getting any present
Life should be all fun and games everyday!
Princess Becky has a go with her new bongo drumsticks
This is for Daniel
The host checking to make sure all guests are enjoying themselves
These two certainly were enjoying themselves!
Christiaan serenading his little sister Gloria and stepmum Princess Becky Leogardo
One for the album
Stars of the show!
Meanwhile, Daniel checks to see if his brother is OK
Michael Mantz plays the violin for his son Raphael
Father and son are the picture of joy
Showtime by the Mantz clan and Lincan Gypsy Band
Maestro Michael Mantz
Entire show all for Raphael Mantz
This one's for Gloria too
This is for both of them
Music makes the world go round
Christiaan and Michael Mantz play for Gloria and Raphael
Wine, dine and music at Michael Mantz luncheon!
Dinner at Took's Widow restaurant
Strolling along the main shopping street of Amsterdam
Dutch lawyer Ruben holding Daniel
Lunch at Maxie
With his long hair, Ruben looks more like a rock star than sedate lawyer
Glam people; Kee Hua Chee, Princess Dr BeckyLeogardo and Ferdinand van Spall the manager of Valentino Amsterdam
Princess Becky and her purchases and Ferdinand Van Spall
A flash of red in The Hague's shopping street
No prizes for guessing who is under the umbrella!
Just grill, grin and bear it
With no comforter on hand, Gloria uses her toes
Poor Raphael covers his nose from the smell
In the end, he surrenders and worships Gloria's feet
And removes his socks too
Christiaan drinks Carling beer from his phone
Lunch at Noah's Art at the beach at The Hague
Gloria and her brother Christiaan
Kee Hua Chee in front of the Queen's Palace in The Hague
Note my skeleton pants---I have nothing to hide you see
Blooming among the flowers
Family outing and shopping in The Hague
One for the road...Princess Dr Becky Leogardo invading this very expensive and highclass boutique boutique which carries all the top brands.
We flew Malaysia Airlines, the best airline in the observable universe according to Skytrax and several other ranking agencies. Well, I think MAS deserves all the accolades they win. MAS’s Golden Lounge was a treat as usual and my diet crashed the instant I entered although there was no nasi lemak, my favourite as our flight was 11.55pm and they serve nasi lemak for breakfast only.
I arrived at Schipol Airport, Amsterdam’s world famous airport which has been one of Europe’s busiest and most best managed since the 1970s. Schipol which ironically means ‘shipwreck’ or more accurately ‘ship out of control’ or maybe even ‘ship hole’ as Schipol was once under water and the notorious whirlpools used to be the death warrants for ships.
As it is, parts of Holland are reclaimed land from the sea. Schipol continues to be one of the most renowned but it does begin to look its age. In its hey day in the 1970s and 1980s, Schipol was the preeminent airport in Europe but of course nowadays London’s Heathrow has long overtaken Schipol just as Air France is now the controlling partner in KLM, Holland’s national airline although I am convinced KLM stands for ‘Kuala Lumpur Malaysia’ though the airline insists it stands for Royal Dutch Airlines in Dutch.
KLIA, Dubai and Changi are all infinitely more glamorous than Schipol but at least it functions perfectly. Despite being such a busy hub I can never fathom how fast it is to get in and out of Schipol. At KLIA I always feel like I have to walk several miles from plane to Immigration and wait ages for my suitcase but everything works like clockwork at Schipol. I was showing my passport in no time and was waved through after I answered ‘2 weeks’ when asked how long my holiday was. Our 6 suitcases appeared quickly and there were Michael Mantz, Princess Becky’s lawyer husband waiting outside and Christiaan, his handsome 27 year old son from his first marriage. Of course we needed 2 cars since there were 7 of us plus 6 suitcases and 7 hand carry bags!
Anyway, I am now in The Hague as member of Princess Becky Leogardo’s entourage of 7 which include herself, me, her 4-year old son Daniel, 1 year old twins Gloria and Raphael and 2 nannies Lujit and Linda. Never leave home without nannies if you have children or a maid if you don’t! This is my advice after being so used to having someone to pick up my debris and clean my messy trail!
We arrived at the crack of dawn around 6.15am but the weather was pleasantly cool and not freezing like the previous 3 years when I had to wear fur in June! But this was July so maybe the weather is less inclement.
It took under 35 minutes to reach The Hague or Den Haag in Dutch from Schipol. I promptly went to bed despite sleeping for 11 hours during the 13 hour flight.
Michael Mantz and Christiaan drove us in 2 cars, a Mercedes Benz and Ford Christiaan imported from New York after he returned from his studies, to Noah’s Ark for lunch. Having 3 kids in tow mean we have to patronise children’s friendly eateries and the posh 5-star Hotel Indes or Garoeda Indonesian restaurant were out of the question!
After lunch Princess Becky did what she is world famous for---contributing to the local economy! We went to The Hague’s main shopping street next to the Queen’s Palace. She managed to buy only Escada as by then her babies were asleep and we returned home.
The next day we lunched at the local snack shop near Michael Mantz’s house in Voorburg where I gobbled half a chicken with fries. We returned to the shopping street and spent half an afternoon in Bonniterie, the swanky main department store in The Hague. Michael Mantz had to attend some legal matters and picked us at 5pm. We returned home, picked up the kids and nannies and went to the supermarket A&N to stock up. We ate our usual popiah and admired the orchids which are dirt cheap compared to KL! The Moth Orchid which sells for RM 55 in Bangsar Shopping Centre and maybe RM 45 in less posh places costs only RM 22! I stared at the tag of 5 euros in disbelief as I do year after year. Even the more exotic species in other colours cost only 8 euros. And orchids are supposed to be tropical flowers! Trust the Dutch to grow them so successfully in their greenhouses! Even our pitcher plants grow in Holland so profusely and sell for a song.
Amsterdam is only 35 minutes drive from The Hague so we go there often. We brunched at home and arrived in Pieter Cornels Hoof Street around noon which is Holland’s main shopping street. As usual, we did the rounds systematically, starting with Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci before going to Douglas for toiletries where Princess Becky bought Prevage moisturiser for me as I have always wanted to try this well documented anti-ager but the price of 146 euros (RM 600) had always prevented me. Well, I am using it now and it is lovely though I haven’t seen any effect yet but then, I am still so young so maybe that’s why.
We went to Hermes to buy every single Birkin bag but there was none. She scoured the shop and fell in love with a pair of orange peep toes and matching bag so she got those which I think were just as marvellous as any Birkin as these two are so trendy and au courant, especially the bag made from silk and leather. We went back a week later and Princess Becky was allowed to order to a 35 inch Birkin in purple crocodile which should be ready in 2012 or even 2013 provided the world doesn’t end on 21 December 2012 but then Hermes does not accept deposits so that is fine.
From Hermes, Princess Becky went to Valentino and bought 7 dresses and 2 bags, the same model but in 2 different colours. Frederick Van Staal as usual served us with nonstop champagne and I was tipsy as I staggered out. Princess Becky doesn’t drink but I never say no to champagne.
Christiaan, Michael Mantz’s second son, also dropped by as he lives in Amsterdam so we lunched opposite Hermes in a charming restaurant called Bouver. Michael, Christiaan, Daniel, the twins and 2 nannies went on a canal cruise while Princess Dr Becky and I continued cruising the shops. We went to one called Azzuro which I mistook for Azzaro but this was a multi brand store. She wanted a silver bag and spotted a Dolce & Gabbana at Azzuro for RM 4,000 and a Christian Laboutin bag for RM 8,000 which is scandalous as Laboutin is famous for shoes and Laboutin bags are an afterthought and should be priced accordingly! We saw a great Chanel evening silver bag for RM 12,000 which looked more magnificent and worth an extra RM 4,000 as it is Chanel and not some second liner.
Sunday 10 July 2011 was an important day as Michael Mantz spent nearly RM 9,000 to host a lunch to introduce his new twins Gloria and Raphael to his brother and extended family. The twins were conceived in Hong Kong, impregnated in Bangkok and born in Manila before being flown to Kuala Lumpur 2 months later! So they were too young to fly to Holland until this year when they turned 1 year old in June.
The luncheon was held at the posh Flamingo Paradise restaurant in Wassernar which is the priciest and classiest residential precint in The Hague. He booked the entire annexe and even hired a 4 piece band called Lincan Gypsy Band from Budapest, Hungary to provide live music which was such a treat.
“This is the first time all my 5 children are together in Holland so today is a historic occasion for me and my wife Becky. Christiaan lives in Amsterdam and his elder brother Edward works in London and flew in just to be with us and meet his new baby brother Raphael and sister Gloria though he met them earlier at their christening in Kuala Lumpur but this is the first time we are all together,” beamed Michael Mantz. “I have already taken a family photo before they fell asleep.”
True enough, 4 year old Daniel snuggled into the twins’ stroller and slept for the next 3 hours!
Michael Mantz’s guests included elder brother Ernst and his wife Betty and their lawyer daughter Ellis who got married exactly a week earlier to Maarten Stam! Ellis and Maarten Stam brought their 4 month old son Phillip who weighed 8 kg and is bigger than his cousins the 1 year old twins! I bet Philip will end up at 195cm at the rate he is growing!
Three fellow lawyers from his law firm also attended, Janinka Grabowsky, Canaan Arslaner from Turkey and Linda Windhorst and her really tall husband Steve. Also present were his landlord Dolf Wit and wife.
There were 22 year old Adut, tall sexy model from South Sudan who is Top Model of Colour winner for 2010 and her 20 year old sister Abok who used to model before putting on weight and putting her career in temporary hibernation. They were accompanied by their very tall mother Akec Deng whose uncle is now the new president of South Sudan whose country officially came into existence 24 hours earlier and I was surprised the trio were not in South Sudan to celebrate the historic occasion. They explained they were going ten days later so they could spend time with their new president as during the ceremonies Akec’s uncle would be too busy entertaining foreign dignitaries.
After a sumptuous feast of classic Chinese dishes, Christiaan and his father Michael and uncle Ernst Mantz joined Lincan Gypsy Band and played the violin and cymbelum for us! The Mantzes are a very musical family and even Edward plays the violin though he did not perform this time.
Adut, Abok and Akec Deng ( I just love their exotic names!) discussed the possibility of establishing BML in Juba the capital of South Sudan. The new president of the world's newest nation, South Sudan, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, is her grand-uncle as she and he are from the same Dinka tribe, the dominant tribe of South Sudan which is Christian as opposed to north Sudan which is Muslim. By the time we left around 4pm we were so bloated we could hardly breathe.
And so ended the first time Michael Mantz had his first gathering of all 5 of his children, 2 from his first marriage and 3 from his current and final marriage to Princess Dr Becky Leogardo!