Monday, December 12, 2005

My sharpener

Tonight a dear friend told me something about a side of me that I was not aware off. It hurt of course but what good thing does not. Although I am not really sure how to deal with it but I was just glad that our friendship is important enough to her.

Told her not to give up on me. Told her to keep nudging me if she sees me slipping. Told her how much I appreciated that our friendship has climbed another level of openess and love. We had tears in our eyes whilst sitting in a hawker store with bright lights.. everyone must have thought us strange.

As iron sharpens iron, so shall friends sharpen each other.... so she is my sharpener... what an honour it is that she counts me worthy of her time to do some sharpening for.

Here's to you dear friend.. I only hope I am as good a friend to you as you are to me. I have it?

I have been wondering about the passions of my life. But do I even know what it means? Let's start at the very beginning.

The Passion is the technical term for the suffering and Agony of Jesus that led directly to the Crucifixion, his death by hanging on a cross. The origins of this meaning of the word lie in the Latin "passio" precisely to describe the travails and suffering of Jesus in this present context. All the other meanings of "passion" have been derived from this one.

It blows my mind to think that one man was passionate about something to die for it. I think about soldiers, terrorists, mothers, people in history who has done so for the love of someone or something. What tremendous power that death gives to transform the future.

I think of my one life here on earth. Of what my destiny is... of how far or not I have walked on this earth. I know that I have yet to fulfill my destiny.. cos if I had, I would not be here any longer. There it is, what is it? To find that one passion in life.. I pray for understanding and for perseverance to find it!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Who people think I am

I recently went out to dinner with one of Marido's newly found mate. David brought his wife Ani (both were in 50's). At first, Ani thought I was a Chindian (mixed Indian and Chinese)(I think it's got to do with my wearing a dress made from some sort of Indian cloth), then she got even more confused when I started speaking. She said that I had a distinct Malay accent. This is new to me. No one has ever said that I look like a Chindian nor sound like a Malay. Normally people mistake me for a Malay... esp when I am wearing the baju kurung.

Why, just last week, when I was at campus (wearing the baju kurung), 3 security guards started talking to me. At first they taught that I was Malay.. and then they looked at my ID tag and wondered aloud "Awak bukan Melayu??"

I don't think that I look particularly strange but it must be the combination of the darker skin with the clothes. Well.. that's good, I get to blend in... my next aim is to learn Tamil or Hindi. Who am I kidding... I can't even speak decent Cantonese... har har!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

How he became younger...

His hair is all white. He told me that he is nearing 60 and he enjoys the senior citizen discounts when he dines out and other perks like that. He is an old man!

But as I get to know him and listen to his charismatic talks and the way he challenges me about stuff, the white hair turns darker and darker. His strong and clear voice with his hawk like eyes and his arched inquisitive brows seems to morph and moved in a strange way that made him look 20 years younger. I get such a thrill when he signals me out of the many people that he is talking to.

I now understand the power of charisma and the effect it has on minds. It changes your initial judgement of the person when you then had only looked at the physical. What an interesting man he is. And to think that I am priviledged to have known him!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Midnight Malaysians

The time is coming close to midnight. It's supposed to be quiet. However, since 10pm, there is a blaring noise from below my 12th floor apartment of people singing/screeching Happy Birthday to you at least 10 times in different voices. THere must be a party going on.. however I could not trace where the voices are from. It's definitely something on a loudspeaker.

Now, I hear Indian music... very happy and happening. But but... it's close to midnight and I want to get some stuff into my brains on the "security market line" and the "Efficient Frontier" .. sigh!

THere is an end to this.. soon!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Sleeping on Westin's Bed

Westin invited me to stay with him this weekend. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my night with Westin. And sleeping on his bed... such a heavenly bed! Groan.... It was a king sized bed with goose feathered pillows and down comforter. I was quite sure that I did not want to get out of bed. It was delicious.. wonderfully titillating the senses.

You've got to see the breakfast he prepares for you. Waffles, pancake, eggs any way you want it, freshly squeezed juices and my favourite- Chinese porridge with century eggs, fermented beans and pickled lettuce. Divine!

Westin did not ask anything in return except to ask my friends to check him out. He is more than delighted to accomodate anyone. As long as they can afford him of course. He is not that cheap... he cost about RM329 per night. If you are looking at having him as a long term companion, you can negotiate the price. Honestly, you should check him out.. he is first class at serving you!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Birthday bashes

On the 18th October, I was moping around in my room wondering if I had any friends left. It was my birthday after all and I had not received any phone call to wish me happy birthday. In fact I had to point it out to Marido. Cis! I was wondering why no one wrote me any email too. I was sitting down and wondering if I had been a recluse lately. Well I certainly was not exactly sociable this past few months since I started studying.

After returning from class, I noticed that my email was flooded with lovely wishes from all my old pals from school (they are not all here in Malaysia). That was nice.

Then on Friday, my cell group were going to celebrate my birthday with a cake however I did not finish a meeting with Nestle until 9.30pm and therefore was quite reluctant to take the taxi out to Ara Damansara (had no car cos Marido took it instead). At 10.30pm, they called and sang the birthday song to me over the phone.

On Sat, my 3 girl friends- WL, Debz and Golden Moon took me out for a meal in COncorde hotel Xin restaurant only to discover that it was fully booked by a bridal party. We landed in The Bodhi tree instead - western food was quite good but the dessert was like 3 days old! The blue cheese pasta was most interesting.

But what crowned the birthday occasion was dinner at Snowie's place. Spot and Snowie slaved over the afternoon (of course FS helped too) to prepare me the most exquisite Spanish meal. We had gazpacho served in cool cucumber cups, portobello mushrooms topped with parsley and other herbs (licking my lips), chicken wrapped in lettuce and doused with special sauce and sumptious seafood paella. For dessert I think it's called creme brulee. And the lovely orange spiced cake that was so cute and tasted great! I had missed eating spanish food and it was really a lovely treat. To think that my friend cared enough to do this for me... I am blessed.

Marido promised me that he would take me out this weekend for a treat... here's looking to spending the beginning of my 31st year with glee!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

MBA Woes

To all the fellow MBA who told me that MBA was easy.. are you nuts?? How can it possibly be. I am only in my 2nd week of class and my knees have started to knock. This is what I typically do in a day :
1) Read - 2 hours
2) Travel - 2.5 hours
3) Attend lecture - 6 hours
4) Discussion - 1 hour
5) Assigment - 0.5 hour
5) Eat (3 meals) -1.5 hours

Maybe it does not look hard but for me.... this is scary... cos it's only the 2nd week!!

To top that, my classmates are totally smart people who can talk the behind off a horse! I am not kidding you.. the last presentation, one of the girls had to be stopped by the lecturer for exceeding the time limit. And they all read the required text before the class commences. And when we cover a particular topic, you need to read at least from 2 books and it's not just one chapter... sometimes it ranges 5 chaps. When do I have time for all this? I must relax... or my pimples which I have been trying really hard to keep them down will flare up again.

Go.. I need to go to the toilet to relax... but am going to read my Market Based Management book while I am on the throne.. maybe I get some ideas ;)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Distilled Water anyone?

Sud I buy a Monark? A Rain Maker? Or Nu Life?

WHy distilled water?

"Tap water today is like chemical soup...

Distilled water is active-- It is the universal solvent. Clean water helps the kidneys function optimally by removing poisons from the body, increasing metabolism and cleansing all of the body.

Distilled water is chemical and mineral free. If distillation does not remove it-- nothing will.

Water carries only inorganic minerals-- now linked to many long term health problems.
Organic minerals are the only minerals the human body can use. These minerals are provided to the body in the foods we eat. Water only carries inorganic minerals which cause more harm than good to the human body.

Chlorine (a poison) is the main purification method used in municipal water systems. Recent studies link chlorine to colon and rectal cancer.
"Cancer risk among the people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine." from the Council for Environmental Quality.
An EPA official has pronounced bottled water as the "Real Russian Roulette" with cleanliness of bottles and the processes as the biggest problem.
"In one recent EPA check of 25 bottling plants, serious problems with cleanliness was found at every one." from 8 Weeks to Optimum Health, Andrew Weil, M.D., 1997

Man is adding more than 500 new chemicals to the environment each and every year. Nature purifies water by distillation (hydrology) but with so many unknown chemicals in the environment this process is no longer effective.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Need for a new foot!

I have had pronated feet all my life. Meaning.. where there are supposed to be arches in the sole of my feet, there aren't. Kinda like flat feet. Fortunately, it is not as bad as the really bad cases like my BIL (bro in law) where his students teased him cos he walks like a duck.

I had my feet checked by the pakar tapak kaki (podiatrist) in Twin Tower Medical Centre (gosh! Did not know that there was a doctor there) Mr Brendan Bergin who hails from Brisbane Australia.

I started feeling some pain during my month long trip to Europe.. all that walking. I thought it was normal pain but the pain was at my supposed arches. So I checked with Brendan and yup.. if I want to prevent further damage to my tendons and prevent further internal scarring that leads to inelastic tendons later... I needed to have orthodics done.

So I had my feet in plaster of paris for the shape to be sent to Melbourne and will be getting my 'new feet' in a month. As long as I wear the orthodics about 50-60% of time, I sud be fine.

Thank God.. I detected this earlier and not when my feet have been 'damaged' irreversably.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Fair Lady

Actors' Studio is staging the "Pygmalion" at KLpac in Sentul next month. This show follows the thread of My Fair Lady/Pygmalion of George Bernard Shaw in which a common flower seller is miraculously transformed to pass herself off as upper class. Manglist would be a common feature in this production!! The music will be totally original, composed especially for this production. Starring Harith Iskander as the irascible Professor Higgins, Indi Nadarajah as his bumbling friend from India, and introducing Michelle Quah as the flower girl Lisa who speaks like a market girl and sings like an angel.

This brings to mind ... my own little show of My Fair Lady in which I was the Fair Lady in question - Eliza Doolittle- staged during my 6th Form in Malacca High School. My leading man Prof Higgins was one of the boys I greatly admired for his literary strength.... Lee Ooi Kok and Simon Chen was Colonel Pickering. Sanjay Nadarajah played my spineless father whilst the gorgeous Preety Shah played Prof Higgin's mother. And not forgetting the adorable Jeffrey Low played Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Those people above in their current lives: Ooi Kok is a pilot with SIA and married to a lovely woman who works in Merrill Lynch, Simon Chen was last known to be on board the Doulos, Sanjay has disappeared from the face of the earth, Preety married a German guy and got disowned by her parents in the process (but she has 2 cute sons...), And Jeffrey (whom all the girls were swooning about...) married and settled in Melaka.

I loved being on stage. I loved singing and entertaining the audience. I felt such a thrill when the curtains opened to present me. Maybe I am an exhibitionist at heart. It was addictive... and for the next 4 years after that.. I was on stage.. portraying either an angel, a demon or the devil himself! It was really exhilarating... sometimes I wonder what I am doing now... staying away from the stage... maybe I think that I am over the hill or not good enough anymore.

Maybe someday, I might go back... some day....

Mature Student

My uni (NUM)had an opening ceremony on Monday 26th Sept where our Prime Minister was supposed to officiate the ceremony.

Little info about PM : Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi became the 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia on 31st October 2003. Born on 26 November 1939 in Kampung Perlis, Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang, Dato’ Seri Abdullah received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pematang Bertam. He later attended Bukit Mertajam High School, Penang Methodist Boys’ School and a religious school started by his family. Dato’ Seri Abdullah pursued his tertiary education at the University of Malaya where he graduated with B.A.(Hons) in Islamic studies in 1964. (more can be read at

Unfortunately, PM did not come but he sent our Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak instead. But perhaps DPM wanted to come... he actually graduated from Nottingham Uni 30 years ago... so it's also quite an honour.

NUM had beautiful tentage with flowing white cloth and plenty of fans with water sprinklers that greatly cooled the already overcast day. The men staff was wearing batik shirts and the women in batik shirt and skirts but all the important people were trying their best not to perspire underneath the coats and ties. Gamelan music and students' voices filled the air lending it a Malaysian festive cheer. I was sitting solo amongst all the young and fresh looking students .. I felt old and aloof. Thankfully Choon Lai (a friend from my old uni days who is now a foundation lecturer here) who was in doing his student control rounds could chat with me intermittently.

When the ceremony was over, I rushed with the other students to the Administrative building for my free meal. When I got there and saw all the people round the small table..I thought to myself "what am I doing... go home or go to the library ... do not join the horde!"

I drove out of Uni and proceeded to queue for 10 mins at an intersection along with all the datuks and datins. I believe at some point.. one of the datuks called the police to complain and immediately, 2 police bikes were in front of us stopping traffic for us to allow us to turn right. Impressed! By the time I got to KL for dinner with Marido.. it was an hour and a half since I drove out the gates of NUM. Sigh! I must try to stay in campus!

Friday, September 23, 2005

RM75 for 5 mins

I had to see Dr Lee (he's Sieg's doctor for her pains and body trauma). I was having knee pain since climbing Franz Josef's glacier last year. And my wrists have been clicking and shout to me to stop when I twist them to wash my back during bathing.

According to the doc, my problem in the knee is not too bad but I should stop or minimise motions that cause pain.. ie climbing Mt Kinabalu... dang! I was gonna climb it next year.

My wrist pain is not RSI (repetitive stress injury).. at least not yet as there is no swelling. However, he recommends that I wear a wrist brace when I type or use the computer. Apparently this degeneration of cartilage of the knees and wrist is very common among women especially so among the working white collar ones with the high heels and computer usage.

Ok.. I have to be careful with my body these days. Not as young anymore

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

University of Nottingham, Semenyih

My mind kept of thinking of Semen... Yeh!! I have a Sad existence huh??

Semenyih is the new campus site of the Uni of Nottingham. When I enrolled in Uni Nottingham for my MBA, they told me that I would be studying in the KL campus due to the fact that the part timers will find it hard to commute to Semenyih. However, just one week before my classes start, they tell me that it will be in Semenyih. Semenyih is located on the eastern side of the Klang Valley.

I decided to drive there for a look see. It took me 50 freaking kilometres and 60 minutes just to get there. And that is only one way and minimum time. What if there is a jam... I believe my journey could stretch to 2 hours one way. It is much further than my old Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi. Sigh! I wonder what I am supposed to do. Driving there everyday for one year is going to greatly increase my traffic accident potential.

Marido suggested moving closer to campus. I tried renting the Halls of Residences (hostel) but those were already fully booked from ages ago. Since we are renting our current place... moving is no big deal ... but move to where? Marido needs to be near the train station as we only have one car. We are looking around now... but how do I move away from something I am so familiar with. All my makan stalls are here, my doctors are here, my exercise classes are here, my church is here, my cell is here.... I have grown roots and sunk them far down the earth ...and it's hard to uproot! Sigh!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Better to be in the house of mourning....

Golden Moon told me about her going for a casual friend's wake a week ago. This girl Jackie was killed in a freak accident in New York. Apparently she fell down the subway and was crushed by the on coming train. Police ruled out foul play or suicide. That investigation has no conclusion yet.

The body was flown home a week after her death. She was laid out in the coffin in FGA where people peering at her commented how 'barbie' like the US embalmers have done her up. She was beautiful even in her death.

Everyone who was 'doing' the service of the wake knew her. Even in such a big church, they knew her. And what moved Golden Moon much was that she has never been in a wake where everyone attending were wanting to go on stage to say their eulogies. Jacky was only in New York for one year and yet her church in NY sent their eulogies too -- words that show how much she has shared in their lives. She was posted to StanChart NY and before that she was attached to StanCHart here. Her former employers and colleagues from StanChart went up to say that they have renamed the Kuala Lumpur room in their office as "Kuala Lumpur Room in memory of Jackie X X X "

There was a powerpoint show about her life and her achievements. All this brought so much tears to Golden Moon's eyes. She was glad that she sat alone .. able to sob and feel the pain and loss of the people whose lives have been touched by Jackie.

We wondered about our own wakes.. would we have even touched anyone's life let alone have many people care if we died.... we are still wondering. Family does not count... if they have not even felt the pain of our death... we might as well die now.. we have not been much use on this earth! Here is to thinking how our lives may have impacted others!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Finally becoming a man

Axel is getting married! He called me just last week to tell me. I was away in Europe before that and so he waited until I returned to tell me.

I was thrilled. Axel was finally taking this brave step into the unknown (at least unknown to him). I was strangely happy. Here is one person whom I had become firm friends with when we were still in our school uniforms. He was worshipping my best friend then (Willow really was a gorgeous girl with unbelievably straight, flowy hair, porcelain complexion with sexy moles that accentuate her beauty and endless legs). And while he was admiring her.... and confiding in me ..I was doing what girls my age (even now they do) do when a guy spends a lot of time with them even though they were talking about someone else.... I fell for him!

He was the cutest thing then. Tall and gangly... uncertain about himself and what it all means - hormones raging and people hating. He used to proudly proclaimed that he 'killed' a cat by drowning it. I was very upset with him and refused to talk to him for days. But he would not give up yakking to me. I guess he found a safe friend whom he could confide in about stuff.... his love for heavy metal music, his scary parents, his too handsome younger brother that the girls his peer admire instead of him, his decision to study in another country... all this without the fear of me falling in love with him.

I was a thin, colourless looking kid then. Not to mention that I had a huge blob of greeny blue birthmark on the left of my face that span from the tip of my eye (at the bottom) to the apple of my cheeks and finally ending on the side of the forehead near the slit of my cat like eye. In the words of one of my friends over last weekend "Who would want her?". I guess when you talk to a person like that you would think that she does not have feelings or rather you conveniently forget that she does have those sort of feelings.

Axel left at 16 to continue his high school at another country. We still corresponded but since he did not really enjoy writing, the letters dwindled to nil and we lost track of each other. Sometimes he would call when he came home to visit his family but the fast friendship was lost. He furthered his studies to yet another country. And in the midst of that, he managed to snare the affection of Willow.. I had no idea how he managed to do that but Willow confided that he really was so sweet that she just relented.. ah! Sweet love.

Axel finally returned home to work and one Chinese New Year, we bumped into each other at a mutual friend's place. We just hit it off again like old times. We talked about the gaps in between then and now and laughed about how he went away across the globe and yet ended here picking up where we left off.

We both sat next to each other at Willow's wedding. She did not end up marrying him! He said that it was a great loss but the relationship was not meant to be. And so the friendship went thru his hook up and break up with his girlfriend, my break up with my previous boyfriend and the hook up of Novio. When Novio proposed, I was thrilled to inform Axel.

Axel then ruminated about US. I guess when the friendship is so good.. we think about "could it be more?" He thought about that and told me in an email confessing how he fell for me all those years when we were walking back from the crocodile farm, walking back from tuition classes, when we were quarrelling about his 'diseased mind', his silly obsession with the dark side..... He said that the time was never right to tell me. AND I never showed any inclination to have him as more than a friend, never closer than a brother.

I wondered why he told me... I think that again, he was hiding in the safety of my impending marriage. Here is a man who did not want to risk it. Or maybe he just wanted me to know... to make me feel good?? But I did feel good. I felt glad that the friendship has grown beyond a certain level. And yet I know that in that day, it died a little death. We would never speak of this matter again. Never to bring up the past or the young/childish unrequited love.

I was the only one that he invited amongst the people of our hometown. And I think that he added another girlfriend to accompany that I would not be lonesome. As a joke.. I threatened to bring Willow... he was so horrified!!

And so.. Axel.. is finally becoming a man.

Cirque du Soleil

Quidam was the name of the most recent Cirque du Soleil production. I went to watch it in Spore together with Marido. He was planning to surprise me but I was not surprised.. much to his disappointment.

For the uninitiated, in the early 1980s, a group of young street performers, dreamers and self-taught entrepreneurs had the vision and drive to create Cirque du Soleil. Long before the days when they would stimulate the imaginations of audiences, the first Cirque du Soleil Artists performed their shows in the street. If their dream eventually came true—a dream built on boldness, risk and imagination—it was partly because there were older people who believed in them, regardless of their age, image or status as street performers.

Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past. It could be anyone, anybody. Someone coming, going, living in our anonymous society. A member of the crowd, one of the silent majority. The one who cries out, sings and dreams within us all. This is the "quidam" that Cirque du Soleil is celebrating. A young girl fumes; she has already seen everything there is to see, and her world has lost all meaning. Her anger shatters her little world, and she finds herself in the universe of Quidam. She is joined by a joyful companion as well as another character, more mysterious, who will attempt to seduce her with the marvelous, the unsettling, and the terrifying.

The movements of the performers were reverting! I could not take my eyes of them and yet I feel somewhat uneasy watching the manipulations of the body and the different contortions that seems so unachievable. And the wonderful synergy between circus and theatre.

There were a few highlights:
1) A man spinning in a large wheel making it go faster and faster
2) 4 little asian women doing the spinning gasing like things and acrobatics whilst at it
3) A woman lifting a rather large man by him holding on to her ankle while she was supported only by her waist on a thin rod. Brrr... so scary
4) a man and a woman doing the most incredible contortions and yet making it look so graceful and looking like plants growing...

Monday, September 12, 2005

My Detox programme

Marido was looking sluggish.. and stressed and sooo not interested in anything. We both thought that we ought to try a detox-- been talking about it for a year. And so I called up Pure Health in Plaza Damas (had the address in my palm for 2 years- saw their editorial in The Star that long ago). We booked 5 days of colon hydrotherapy starting from Wednesday.

We had to have 2 days of pre-detox where we ate only vegetables and NO meat. Then the diet was thereafter liquid (made up of half glass of water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, half glass of water with 2 tablespoon of wheat grass powder, 2 tablespoon of Psyllium husk, 2 tablespoon of UDO's Essential fatty Acid oil, 2 capsules of Pro biotics - friendly bacteria and a glass of vege and fruit juices for breakfast, lunch and dinner). Strangely I felt not much hunger pangs.

Then it was the colon hydrotherapy done in the facility. They give you a small tube-smaller than your pinky- where you stick that in your anus (by yourself) and cover your front with a cloth. They will then come to check on your and assist you to feel comfortable and start the water flow. Water will go into your colon and clean up the garbage that has been accumulating for years. You will be very satisfied to note that gunk actually come out.

Actually, I thought it was a breeze... oklah.. not that breezy but it was not terrible at all. And messy it is not. It's so well done that I was thanking the staff for making it so comfortable for me. Leak.. leak out where.. on to the floor? Nope... if you keep your bum where it is supposed to be.. you will be fine. Everything is done by you! When the water bathes the colon and detaches the fecal matter from the walls.. you will feel like poo pooing and then you push... voila... 45 mins of this and you are done for the day. Very easy if Marido .. who faints at the sight of blood can tahan this, I am sure that anyone can. We both lost weight and felt good. I actually feel the same cos I think that I am already rather 'healthy' from my fussy eating. But all the gunk that come out... wow! Amazing. And they are not the usual poo. The tummy is a tad flatter.. And my complexion cleared up a little too... still have loads of oil on my face but that sud keep wrinkles at bay.

If you are relatively unhealthy before the detox, you will suffer what we call Healing Crisis.. headache, nausea, dizziness... etc.. Marido had it quite bad.

We also did a skin caretonoid test where the machine scans the skin for level of antioxidants. it measures your skin activity for 30 days past. There are 5 zones, starting from the better - red, orange, yellow, green and blue. I scored in the green section with 45K and Marido a poor 16K in the red. The results is a combination of diet (not enough leafy greens and fruits), stress and body fat. Marido was not happy with his scores and is now taking Life Pak to supplement his diet (but only took a little at first like 2 tablets (not packets) a day as the body will react to the overload of nutrients by making you feel sick.

3 of my friends are signing up for this programme already.. a testament to the new me!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Dunnottar castle in the Stonehaven countryside where Mel Gibson once acted in a movie Hamlet Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Relaxing by the beach on a hill in gorgeous Scotland Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The famous St Andrew's ground (GOLF) Posted by Picasa

Stirling Castle in Scotland stirs my heart! Too cold tho... it's 12 degrees and it's SUMMER! Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 22, 2005

Marido at Brighton Beach- note the pebbles and not sand on the beach Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 21, 2005

London EYE- Believe me when I say that it takes 30 mins to do a loop.. i was soooo trapped! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The splendour of Versailles- unfortunately I do not have a bird's eye view Posted by Picasa

Pretty French Postcards Posted by Picasa

The stained glass of Notre Dame Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Parigi, Paree or Simply Paris

The City of Love somehow did not inspire me to feel amorous at all. Then again I was not with a sexy man...

We took the horrible night train from Venice to Paris that took an excruciating 10 hours. 6 people occupied one cabin and the beds were like triple bunk beds. It was stuffy and yet cold and the noise of the doors outside clanging shut everytime the train departed from the stations irritated me. Imagine.. I who slept with ear plugs found the noise unbearable.. and not to mention the shaking of the train.

An officer on the train wanted to take our passports with him "For immigrations purposes" he said but I adamantly told him that I would not hand over my passport. He got a bit upset and threatened that the police will come for me. "Tell me to see me," I said coolly. When he went off to the next cabins, I enquired in the other cabins if the occupants had passed their passports to him. They all nodded in affirmative. I still thought that it was a strange procedure and so when the officer returned to collect the other passenger's (who got on board later) passports, I still refused to give mine to him. I needn't have worried because he returned everyone's passport about an hour before they got off the train.

We got off at Gare du Nord.. most convenient as our Hotel Grand Magenta (with a name like that I was really thinking that it would be crawling with prostitutues). It was a tiny hotel with a tinier lift (it could barely fit Shirrene and I together with our luggages. However, the good thing was, we had TV with CNN and we watched it every night we were in Paris.

We went to the Louvre on the 1st day. Spent 6 hours there and it was seriously NOT ENOUGH! What an impressive collection they had. We were at the Egyptian section for the longest time. Then we were off to see The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. You could only wave at Mona from a distance of 20 feet. There were so many people jostling each other to take a picture. So much for being captivated for hours by her enigmatic smile.

2nd day.. we spent it at Versailles (Parisians say "Ver sai" - sounds like shit in Hokkien). We took a train straight to Chateau Versailles and wandered in the magnificient grounds and the summer palace of King Louis XIV. It was opulent with rooms 'drenched' in gold or pink fabrics or yellow furniture and chandeliers (I had thought that Mark's impressive house by the Palace in Melaka would look a little like this). As far as the eye can see from the windows of the palace were the garden grounds. The gardens would take your breath away. Especially after you had to walk 3 hours to visit the length and breath of the gardens. There was the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon and others which Shirrene refused to visit due to the xtreme walking that was needed.

3rd day - Eiffel Tower... my knees started knocking when I thought about climbing the tower....A strange feeling came over me when I was admiring Eiffel. Maybe the combination of the height and the thought that Tom Cruise proposed to his current girlfriend here made me a little sick. Visited Pompidou Centre -only viewed the frontage (it houses modern art - like huge LCD TV screens and fantastic new do-interesting-poses chairs). Also walked in Rue du Martin for the arty things like postcards, paintings and creative inventions. Trudged along Champ Elysee to see the Arc de Triomphe. We had to stop by Louis Vuitton after so many Chinese from China begged us to buy the bags for them. Apparently they were only limited to one bag a person. As if I was going to buy for them to make money!! What did I get in return?? LV was PACKED!! Were they that cheap? I had no idea as I was not familiar with the prices back home. We had a scare in LV.. Shirrene grabbed me and said that her money pouch and passport was not with her... we rushed back to the hotel in hopes that it was safe.. thankfully it was!

Definitely think that Paris was charming.. even the people were friendlier than the Romans. Always start the sentence with "S'il vous plait...Parlez-vous anglaise?" They warm up to hear you try to speak their language. And 4 days is also not sufficient to enjoy Paris.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Burano Posted by Picasa

Lido, Murano, Burano, Torchello and Verona

Lido : The beach on the island Lido was THE BEACH for the Venetians. It was an ok beach.. you can give it a miss. Nothing really spectacular. But the hot chocolate there was the best that I have ever tasted in Italy. I was so inspired that I bought 3 boxes. (better to feed Spot and anyone else who comes to visit me!)

Murano : The place where glass making originated. We took the vaparetto there and promptly went into the glass making 'factory' where a man was making a vase and a fish - quite impressive. The man who was explaining the process whose name is Leno started talking to Shirrene and I. Shirrene insisted that he was checking me out.. who are you kidding?? Anyway, he was so impressed with us cos we bought a set of froggies (me) and octopuses (Shirrene) that he 'decided' to show us the GALLERIA.... where the beautiful pieces of art that never loses its value were sitting. It was impressive but the price tags were even more impressive...into the thousands and ten thousands of Euros.
Leno kept on saying that if we ever need him, we have only to whisper and he will be there.... charming or what... I think he reminds me of a very oily man. If you ever go there, do not buy anything... too expensive (we found that out much later!)

Burano : Such an enchanting little island where the houses are painted in bright happy colours ie fireman red, sunflower yellow, naranja orange, ultramarine blue.. etc. Burano is famous for lace but I was not impressed by the collection I saw and sadly most of the lace are made from China as it is just too expensive to make by hand in Italy now.

Torchello : Small fishing village with a very ancient tower in the middle and a fat carnivorous like cat basking in the sun but virtually uninhabited. You could still find an odd bed and breakfast place or boutique hotel and a few decent restaurants but go only if you wish for utter serenity with minimal activities.

Verona : A 2 hour ride into the west of the Veneto (supposed to be only 1.5 hours but it took us 2 to get there), it is the background of which Romeo and Juliet (Giuletta)'s tragic romance took place. Went to visit Juliet's house and watch countless people molesting her right breast in hopes of returning to Verona again. Her right breast looked so worn out and shiny.. I must say that is seems flatter than her left which Juliet cleverly covered with her own hand.
Surprisingly, Verona looks like a fancy shopping place.. with designer goods in shops along the streets. It also houses one of the best operas 'stadium' where there are shows almost every night - in Italian - of course.. or we would have watched it. When we were there, it was showing Turandot by Puccini - so interesting... if I could only understand it.. dang!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gondolas Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Venice Masks Posted by Picasa

La Serenissima Venezia

We landed at the Santa Lucia train station at 9pm... the night has just begun and we dragged our luggages and bagpacks across half a km of steps, stair and cobbled stones and got lost in the process of finding the Santa Fosca Hostel. The road signages in Venice was appalling.. but we finally found our hostel after asking around. Our hostel is actually a university dorm which they rent out during the summer months.

What struck us as we walked along the streets was that the atmosphere was gay and pleasant without the harshness of city life. There were happy people eating and drinking with beautiful shops dotting the roads and gleaming waters of the canals. No cars or motorised vehicles throng the roads and you only hear the patter of footsteps around and lively chatter.

It was cold that morning.. so cold I had to get up at 4am to wear 2 layers of sweater as the blankets were thin- just a piece of cotton sheet. However, when we went out the next morning, the air was crisp and there was a tinge of grey in the clouds but that was quickly disappearing in the rising of the sun high in the sky. We pottered around Cannaregio to look at the elaborately beautiful but strangely eerie Venetian masks that pop from almost every shop and corner. They range from the size of a fifty sen coin to the size of your torso (that huge esp those with plume of feathers on them). There were also endless gelato shops.. did I mention that my favourite flavour is WATERMELON.. taste as though you were eating iced watermelons.... yummmm. Shirrene was thinking that she could lose weight while travelling and walking so much but hey.. with eating a gelato/i everyday and eating 3 full meals of pasta, pizza and panini...there is no way anyone is going to lose weight.

Venice had this special Spaghetti ala Nero (or in any pasta) a dish with squid ink... it looks gross and smells hardly any better but it tasted quite ok but I would not eat it again! Shirrene stayed far away from that the moment she got a sniff of it.

Gondola... aah! The romance of it.. NOT! It looks like a regular boat shaped like Aladdin's shoe and would topple over when anyone gets in it! Ok ok.. it does look quite nice.. the seats look like they were meant for the Queen but I did not want to take the ride... a) It was too expensive.. 60-80€ for a ride (depending day or night) and b)I was with Shirrene. Hmmm... I did not mean that in a bad way. What we did instead was to take the vaparetto (a ferry) over to the many different islands that make up Venice. Did I even know that Venice is a cluster of island so close together that the bridges make them seem like they are part of the same piece of land!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Florence at dusk Posted by Picasa

Waiting for Uffizi

Uffizi Gallery was last on our list for Florence/Firenze. We sauntered to the gallery on Tuesday morning thinking that at 9am we had ample time to finish the gallery and catch our train to Venice at 3.14pm. When we got there, (we already knew that the queue wud be long and we did not call early enough to book nor did we want to spend an additional €10 for booking with the agent), we were horrified to see the queue snaking around the gallery twice. We queued with our bladder that was already asking to be released. 5 and the half hours later, you bet that our bladder was bursting and to think that we still had to pay €6.50 for that stupid wait!!

But the Uffzi (Offices) gallery was a charming museum with works by Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli's famous Venus, Rafeallo, Perugino etc

You could deduce that we missed our train but then again.. what can you say about 2 idiots who want to save money but end up wasting 5 hours of their lives....??

Sunday, August 07, 2005

VIew of the Tuscan countryside Posted by Picasa

Under the Tuscan Sun

We took a bus to Siena yesterday... it was a Sunday and the bus queue was incredibly long. And to make matters worse.. the crowd did not exactly queue and the bus driver was yelling in vain for all of us to queue. We were like the people of the Malaysian bus stops.. all shoving and pushing so that we get to go in. We had to take the 12.10pm bus as we missed the 10.10 am earlier.. do not go on weekends.. the buses are few.

Siena was normal.. not really that spectacular after the beauty that we experienced in Assisi *definitely must put Assisi on your list if you want to go to Italy*. It is a medieval city that supposedly delightful but as we walked on foot around the place, we noticed that only Piazza Del Campo was anything to shout about. Used as a horse racing ground during the summer called Palio Di Siena, it is however filled with locals and tourist just basking in the glory of the ancient buildings surrounding them. And a tall tower.. not unlike the tower out of Harry Potter rises like a graceful phoenix in the dark forbidding sky.

Everything was brown but I was a bit disappointed after having such great expectations of the Tuscan region. However it was ok but I should think that Siena could be given a miss.

We took the bus to San Gimignano today. We had to take the bus to Poggibonsi and change to San Gimignano. What we did not know was that we needed to take the bus to Siena. Since there was a bus to Poggibonsi stated on the tv screen at the bus station, we thought it was that and missed the actual bus instead. How terribly confusing.

San Gimignano rises on a hill (334m high) dominating the Elsa Valley with its 13 towers. From the Torre Grosso, a tower which had me in fear and trembling as I climbed the seemingly endless flight of unprotected steps which metal steps that had holes in it so that you can see how far down you will fall if you are careless, I managed to see the beauty of the rolling hills and green plains. Climbing down was another ball shrinking exercise. I was suitably exhausted after the climb..not from the physical exertion but the mental torture of acrophobia.

I bought a lovely apple green box bag which I could not resist at €50 and met a charming shopkeeper in the process. He said that I was the first person that he has met who asked if I could touch the merchandise first. He actually only became charming after I asked for permission to handle the goods. He then went on and on about how inconsiderate tourists are about fingering merchandise and how the kids with sticker fingers due to eating gelati would ruin his goods.

We had vernaccia wine gelati which can only be found in SG. I had a glass of lovely SG wine whilst basking in the warm sun rays seated in a chair overlooking the hills and plains of the gorgeous region.

Then it was back to dirty Florence.. and I don't mean Foong Sim

David in his magnificence Posted by Picasa


Florence's beauty comes from the sunsets at Ponte Vecchio where the river background with the bridges and golden rippling waters makes the city seem less formidable. It adds a serenity and beauty that softens the harsh skyline of the ancient city. Not that I am complaining about being in a city that is hundreds of years old where the facade is not allowed to be changed but I guess the water does it for me. Sitting by the bridge and chatting to strange men is most interesting. A Barcelonian offered to take my picture after he found out that I was trying to take a picture of myself with the sunset at the back (Shirrene was several metres away settled in her spot to take her shots). Pablo was such a nice young man with pasty white face and lotsa black stubs. We conversed in my smattering of Spanish. He came with his mum.. and he is an amateur photographer.. much like the hordes of people here with incredibly heavy equipment..estas loco!

Just got up and it's abt 9am now.. slept in a bit cos we were so tired and I had a little headache from sleeping with my head wet.

Finally got that jacket.. at 150€ but did not get a receipt for it.. I think that Ali (Iranian) the shop man at Myriam near the huge Duomo wanted to get away with tax... there were other shops that we went to that charged 240€ for the same piece and he wanted cash too!! Anyway, I am now a proud owner of a magnificient copy of Chanel's black leather jacket in lamb skin. How cool is that!

Hope to tackle Siena today (a lovely medieval city) and Gimignano tomorrow. The weather here has been less hot then in Rome. Not sure how much but it's nicer.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

From a window in Assisi Posted by Picasa

Sleeping with Romans or Italians

ROME : Sigh... the hostel of Sunshine 2 faces the square Piazza Vittorio Emanuelle II but instead of being serene.. the noise is incredible. Trucks would rumble in the night and wake us all up from our already drifting in and out of our sleep due to the stifling heat (there is no fan here in summer!). And the screening of a movie with a lady bursting out in loud operatic voice did nothing to enhance my rest. I thought that there was a riot or something of the same.

ASSISI : We took a 2 hour train to Assisi and watched the dirty grimy city faded into a blur and a gleaming community on a hill filled our sight. As we took the town bus to the heart of Assisi, we were stunned by the magnificient vistas of the rolling hills and sprawling areas of wheat dotted with homes and animal shelters. What a gorgeous view! We fell in love with Assisi..

People were friendlier.. in fact so friendly that one old man took us to the Albergo La Rocca where we were supposed to spend the night with such kindness on his face. I was apprehensive to follow him after hearing all the horror stories of them wanting money after they helped you. But no fear.. he just shook my hand longer than neccessary...

Assisi continued to delight Assisi me.... little streets that only allow one small car to pass but mostly no cars pass by.? Cosy stone homes near each other. You could talk to your neighbour from your window without yelling.? Cobbled stones on the ground with nooks and crannies filled with flowers or stalls with pretty things like art, painting and dolls. Tall towers with gleaming windows in the sun.. it was really delightful....we sud have stayed more than a night..even the room we had was such a contrast to the one in Rome. The windows of the room opened up to a view of the valley and a restaurant below. It was a perfect little spot to do my morning devotion whilst Shirrene took an hour to pack her bag.

I went to a shop selling paintings and bought 3 pcs of watercoloured postcards and when I went to pay.. the man smiled and me and Shirrene and walked over to a corner and gave us a postcard with a flourish "Presento!" With that he came over and gave me 2 kisses on my cheeks and did the same to Shirrene. Then after paying, he proceeded to kiss me again. I told Shirrene to take a photo of us but her hand shaking (not sure due to laughter or shock) that she never took one of him kissing me. He actually give very long and sloppy kisses and squeezed really hard.. I was the recipient of more than 6 of them. I had to push him away.. I would have really prefered if a man 50 years his junior did it ....dang!!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The coloseum Posted by Picasa

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Roma - The Eternal City

My first impression of the Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino airpot was that it was OLD. buses still ferry passengers from the plane to the arrival terminals and vice versa. What was also unappealing was that the buildings was old and dirty. We (Shirrene-my kindergarten friend and I) took the train of 9.50 Euro from the airport to Stazione Termini which took half and hour. I was beginning to be excited.. I was finally in Roma (as spoken in Italian) but as the train moved towards the centre of Rome.. I saw graffiti on buildings and some of the buildings were so old and dilapidated that it really should be torn down. When we landed at Stazione termini, a foul smell, not unlike sewerage, assaulted us.

We then walked to our hostel on roads that was littered with garbage. All the shops were closed (it was Sunday). a few suspicious looking characters were lurking around. We walked for at least half a hour (it sud have only been 10 mins)before we finally spied Sunshine 2 hostel. The signage was only 1cm x 4 cm long... cis! however the door was massive with big brass knockers. when it was opened, I saw a very ancient lift but we had to walk up the stairs.. dang!

Sunshine 2 was not exactly sunny. The people running the place was sullen and only allowed us to dump our bags and we have to go out until 4pm. It was 1.30pm and we were dead tired form out flight that took us 16 hours in total.

In the end we parked ourselves in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II where Shirrene promply fell asleep. I looked around and noticed that the park neither had the grandeur of Buen Retiro in Madrid nor the merriment of klcc nor even the usefulness of tmn Paramount.

As you can tell, I was sorely disappointed. But that is today... tomorrow will be better... much better!

Friday, July 29, 2005


No matter how far I go away from your presence
I am still aware of it
Aware that no matter how great the distance I run
Your work on me has just begun

I am like a child who does not know enough
yet still stomping my feet to get what I want
Childish rage on my sallow face
Feltless tears that leaves no trace

Do I know what I want?
Is that the question I should ask?
Do I know what I ought to want?
Can I know how to get what I ought to want?

Thirty... how swiftly time has fluttered by
I am here for such a time as this
Yet.. what have I done?
Have I done anything of worth?
Or is everything like dross?
Worthless, useless, to be trampled on the ground

How far must I go?
How deep must I delve?
How painful must it be?
How much more must I see?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Mi Mancherai (I'll Miss You)

This song of Josh Groban from the movie Il Postino has been playing in my head and on my lips. I just find the voice of this talented young man like the voice of an angel.. not that I have heard angels before but that is how I imagined Gabriel and Michael to sound like when they sing!

Summary of the movie Il Postino:
The life of the fisherman Mario changes dramatically when the famous Chilean writer Pablo Neruda settles on his little Italian island. Living in exile becuase of his political beliefs, Neruda needs a postman to deliver the huge quantities of mail sent to him by his admirers and Mario takes the job since he hates fishing anyway. The two become friends and Neruda helps the shy and clumsy Mario to win the heart of Beatrice, the beautiful waitress at the village's inn, by showing him the beauty and power of poetry.

Mi Mancherai is the song from the movie and I am learning it as one of my Italian lessons since I am going over to Italy in 2 days. Yippee Italy.. here I come.

Also.. Pablo Neruda's works are beautiful.. I have a collection of his poetries but the one I love most is the one mentioned in the movie Patch Adam where Dr Patch spoke the words on the deathbed of his loved one... here it is in all it's glory.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.
Mi Mancherai (translation)
I’ll miss you, if you go away
I’ll miss your serenity
Your words like songs in the wind
And Love, that you take away.

I’ll miss you, if you go away
Now and forever I don’know how to live
And joy, my friend, goes away with you

I’ll miss you, I’ll miss you, Why do you go away?
Because the love in you is dead?
Because, because...Nothing it’s gonna change, I know
And inside of me I feel you

I’ll miss the immensity
Of our days and nights,us together
Your smiles when it’s getting dark
Your being naive like a little girl

I’ll miss you, my love
I look at myself and I find emptiness inside of me
And joy, my friend,
goes away with you

Friday, July 15, 2005

PJ Public Library

I spent 2 hours in the PJ Public Library (Publib) today. It's near the Assunta Hospital. I have never been to a publib before. Only the ones in school and university and they were ok.. not great but sufficient for minimal research. I was quite impressed with the publib as my expectations were very very low.

I had been renting my books from a rent-a-book place which cost me RM30 at least a month cos I read about 6 books or more a month at the moment. RM31 is how much you need to pay to be a member of the publib. The idiotic thing is that you can only borrow 2 books at one go. On good days, I can read 2 books a day. Looks like I am gonna be going to the publib daily.

But I was there today to check out my watercolour painting guide and also my knitting guide.. talk about me being a grandmother... sigh! Where is the career woman gone to?.. in hiding I think. But I did do some studies related to 'work'. I was all alone in the 2nd floor of the library. I wandered to the 3rd floor and there was no one there too. I think Malaysians must not like to read so much... how to membangun sebagai satu negara yang maju dan bervisi?

Mad at Myself

I was trying to book flights on Ryan Air and Easy Jet and then realised that just one month difference in dates for something that is still a month away increase the flight fares to double. I am so mad.. it makes a difference of RM500. So sad.. sob sob.. I feel so stupid. Idiota! Estupido! Why don't I know this? Marido thinks that I am making a mountain out of molehill. He says " You learnt, right?.. c'est la vie". I refused to go to bed and he is now sleeping without me. I am still on the net searching for ways to go about cheaply in Europe.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hair and Harry

Dang! I forgot to wash my hair again. I woke up this morning to a greasy hairdo not unlike Professor Snape of Harry Potter. Writing of Harry Potter... I am so excited about the next installment of HP. I was so wrapped up in the books that I feel so intense about Harry that after a while, Harry became a beautiful name to me... eeks! Check out the stories written as a spinoff from JK Rowling's characters in the following website:
Here you can read about what was hinted in the actual books itself.. like the fluff between Ron and Hermione, Severus Snape's past, a glimpse into the lives of Mooney, Wormtail, Padfoot, & Prongs, Voldemort's beginnings.... stuff like that.. some of the writers are good!

Back to my itchy hair... I really must remember to clean them every alternate days. I remembered during a time when the hair was to my waist.. that was roundabout when I was 18, that i only washed it once a week. That was bad! I have oftened wondered now why my so thick 'Indian' hair diminished to "Chinese" hair after that looonnng hair and not much washing episode of my life. Seriously, I had hair that if I tied 2 pigtails, the ONE pigtail looked like my other friend's ponytail. Gone were those days. Now I just get my hair permed for the fake more volume look.

Marido was upset when I dyed my hair once.. and that was when I only dyed it mahogany.. can you imagine if I had gone blonde? So now, I just keep it black or dark brown.. whichever you call the colour. You know, I wish that I could dye Marido's hair to darker shade. But he thinks I'm crazy... but hey.. he streaked his hair blonde once and I was upset. I don't like blonde... dark is good... dark brooding type... nothing which Marido is. Hey! But no one's complaining.. ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Hijos mean "children" in Spanish.

I think about what it means to have kids. I think about it especially since one of my dear friends has just given birth to a giraffe (kidding.. the baby is a bit on a long side.. thus the nick given). Also because 3 of my oldest friends are also currently pregnant with their 2nd child. Goodness! I am surrounded by these great women who have braved childbearing once and are determined to have a go at it again.

So what does it mean for me to have kids? Sure, people have this wonderful notion of having kids because they like children (but these kids become adults and leave you!). My grandparents used to say that they wanted kids so that the kids can take care of them when they are older. If one kid gives RM100 a month, then surely 10 kids will provide RM1000. Alas, that did not happen. In fact, they are living an almost hand to mouth existence in a large bungalow in Labis, a small town way far south. But they are my deceased mother's parents and I have hardly any contact with them except for the annual trip home during Chinese New Year.

I see all the parents beaming when they talk about their children. It is as though the children represent their achievement in life. The kids doing things that the parents were never able to. The kids accomplishing dreams that parents were only able to fantasise in the snatches of time they had when they were not too busy with trying to raise them and earning their keep in this world.

I also see parents 'give up' their lives so that their kids can have a better life. Denying themselves new clothes so that they can clothe their children. Feeding their young with salmon and cod when they themselves ate ikan kembung or selar. Buying a bungalow so that the kids can run around when growing up when they themselves have lived in a small apartment and never suffered for it. Rushing around in the night after working all day in a fulltime job to ferry the kids from one tuition to another so that the kids will 'get a better education'.

I see all this and feel so weary. Yet, there was one colleague at work- Angie- who told me that all the weariness of work and stress and disasters of life seem to melt away when your child opens his arms and calls you his term of endearment for you. Another saw her kid like a wonderful plaything only that the plaything is alive and will follow everything you say and do - a "minime". 2 more in their forties (they could not bear children) emphasised that the children whom they adopted were now like precious gems. One even mentioned that even if her husband left her, she will not care as long as she gets to have custody of the child. Yet another tells me that it is in the design of nature to have children.

I guess I will never truly understand what all this means until I have my own child. And perhaps the decision then to have children is not from the fact that I SHOULD or WANT to but because I CAN. And because I can learn and savour in my journey on earth before I leave it.. the myriads of feelings and the adventure that God has in plan for me.

Monday, June 27, 2005

ScotchGarding my stuff

3M Malaysia is sometimes I believe quite ridiculous in packaging their product. Here I was trying to clean my knapsack with Fabric Cleaner and lo and behold, the instructions to cleaning was stickered over by a piece of white instructions about how dangerous the thing was if put into the fire.. boleh meletup dan lain lain. Granted that it was a must by the Kementerian Kesihatan but do they have to stick it on top of the instructions? So the bodohnya!! What is worse is that I could not peel it off. Try as I may, but no amount of peeling worked. In the end, I took a knife and sliced the sticker into many 'checks' and scraped off the stupid sticker. Really must complain to Ai Kee from 3M.. her copackers must really botched up the job.. either that or she did not give clear instructions... duh!

Sigh.. in the end, I just washed the bag in water and soap.. hopefully it is not damaged. But when it dries, i will definitely Scotchgard it. Wonderful product the protector is.. keeps fabrics from being dirtied and also from being wet. Great on sport shoes too ;) Here's to my travelling spree!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Benny's dance gals

Posted by Hello We just had a "Shall We Dance" dinner and dance thingy by Benny School of Dance PJ at the Royal Selangor Club in the heart of KL. The RSC is such an old place and it started in 1884 and the 1st president of Mr Rodger - some chap from England then.

Richard came to pick us up.. he is not featured in the pix but the man (he badly needs a hair cut.. his hair straggly and touching his shoulders - to think that he used to be a hairdresser- I would dread for him to be mine) is the cute teddy bear of a guy who owns a laundromat. All the way, Sieg moaned that she was not dressed up enough and not pretty either. I looked at her and was so amazed by her smooth porcelain skin, silky long straight hair, hazel eyes and her row of teeth held by Damon 3 braces (it actually made her look so adorable)... and her lovely greeny silvery dress.. and loopy earrings. It was quintessentially her. In fact, she is so lovely that everyone can't keep their hands off her.

Even Benny, our dance instructor would put his fingers under her chin when he is talking to her. Or pat her hair. She always cringes when he does that. Hey, the man is like 70 years old, ok? See the pix! But he is still strutting his booty or what is left of it after shrinking for the last 30 years.

The dancers (from the school in KL) dominated the hall. The school from PJ only occupied one table out of 15. What was most fascinating was that there were so many beautiful girls and not so many handsome man... in fact, there were hardly any men. The ratio 4:1.. poor guys have to keep on dancing with so many ladies to keep them happy.

Sieg and I were critically checking out the women's clothes. Our scorn of their attire was pure sour grapes. What was worse.. they danced divinely... prancing around during Rock and Roll, swaying their hips to the merengue, looking so seductive in the salsa, gliding like swans in the waltz... sigh... twas a bad case of sour grapes.

We finally took to the dance floor after much persuasion from the guys. Benny twirled me on the floor.. made me look darn professional. Peter and Alan were also very helpful in making me look graceful. Sieg was stuck with Richard the whole time and looked like they were engaging in other things rather than dancing. They were dripping with sweat by the time they were finished. I did not even glisten.

Poor Marido went for Cell Group and had to tell them that I was dancing away with other men. The rest of the group were not impressed. Har har. To think that I am gonna continue with this dance thing. Hey.. it's not as if there were any wildly stunning Spanish men there... BEG (big evil grin)
That all happened on 17th June 2005.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My sister's frog painting

Posted by Hello I so jealous.. my sister can paint...!! And I cannot.. Oh well, at least someone is artistic in the family. I love the Australian Tree Frogs.. aren't they cute!

Monday, June 20, 2005


Sitting by the computer and writing this blog with Marido moving around in the background doing his work and answering his work calls is very reassuring. This is so when you have a man who is always going away. He is going away again tonight on the midnight flight.

How does it feel like to have a man who is constantly not there for the days of the week? Actually, it's kind of nice. I get to do all the stuff I want without having to worry about him. And I have been so used to be single that it's actually great. You know, I still have problems sleeping when he is in the same bed. Eekss.. there is a body next to me!!

But I love the weekends when he is around. We get all set to go out and enjoy the world.. lovely things like a long breakfast at La Bodega (absolutely fav place of their soup.. did I mention that I am crazy about soup.. remind me to ask Spot for the great kiam chye soup slurping session), a walk in the Astaka park where the footballers will stare at us cos we so the weird looking, looking into pet shops and cooing at the little perros and gatos, shopping for stuff or just looking at the windows in awe of the beautiful things that man have created and the most delightful highlight of our weekend is sitting on our pale yellow couch by the window and chatting about how our lives have gone by the whole week.. Que bonito!

Friday, June 17, 2005

She jumped ship and jumped back in

I can't believe it.. my ex-boss (Little Momma) is actually going to retract her resignation! All for the love of money.. ok ok.. maybe not entirely true but hey! Hen (I shall call him that but he is actually the man in total charge of Consumer division) did counter offer. She was already so highly paid. GBM (grp Biz Mger) better paid than the NSM(Nat Sales Mger)??? Shockers! I wonder what she is getting now??

However I think that what really was the pull to stay was that she will be out of Big Momma's clutches (BM being the nasty one I mentioned in my earlier "ex-boss" blog). Little momma will now head a new department called Business Development and she is absorbed into the group instead of just Consumer. She will be in the loop about which company should be acquired, which company they should pitch to in terms of distribution offering.. and etc. She asked me if I wanted to join her.. is she serious???

Another chap resigned recently to join a greater FMCG company but mana tau.. after discussions, he was "coerced" into staying back. He had not made up his mind to stay or leave but his decision to stay back was simply announced during a conference when he was not there to defend himself. The other company got wind of it and called him to confirmed. The poor chap was so bewildered (cos he did not know that he 'had already decided' in a meeting that he never attended) that he was too shocked to respond in a professional manner and pissed off the other company. Ok Ok.. so he is very young in the working world. Sigh! What a mess, right?

Hope it's for the best for him... as for me..I sometimes wish I was still working.. all the adrenalin rush for the deadlines, the chats with principals, brainstorming for sales, projects to organise and spending and spending company money, travelling to branches and meeting up with the lovely and hospitable branch people... all these are so exhilarating. But I think about the IDOG.. damaged goods beyond my control, warehouse sales which I so so dread....working like a dog on weekends, at the beck and call of the Momma and other bigger shots, late nights, pimple laden face, red eyes, itchy skin, fickle minded people, product recalls (oh goodness.. you don't want to deal with product recall.. you will never recover) .... those bits I don't miss.

But I am leading a different life these days.. but more of that later.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Thought that I have more time to write the blog now that I am not working but neh! It's not true. By the time I get back from all my activities at night.. I just want to curl up with a good book and my assorted range of herbal teas. Will try to share what the heck I do all day for weeks. Hmmm.. sometimes I wonder..

Friday, June 03, 2005

1st watercolour painting in 15 years

This is so ugly but it's the first piece in my art class today at Kolej Intec in Old Klang Road. The teacher is Cikgu Afni and she is younger than I am.. abothen?? Getting older leh! Anyway, I am on this bet with Marido that I can and will paint just as good as that acrylic painting of "birds of paradise" on my wall which is a pressie from my in-laws. It was painted by Anita Siedlecki, an up and coming artist in Australia who happens to be Marido's friend's wife and my FIL services her swimming pool. They had to barter trade pool services for that painting. Have a look at the painting at the link below Posted by Hello

2nd painting - improvement

This one of the tulips is much better, don't you think? I so the kiasu.. will be painting loads these few weeks. Posted by Hello

Monday, May 30, 2005

Bye Bye Ah Keong

My cell phone rang incessantly during a conference that I was attending on Friday. When I could finally call back, I was told about the death of my cousin Ah Keong.... Harsh intake of breath. I was speechless.....

I am...was related to Ah Keong as he was my stepmum's eldest nephew. He was a really pleasant boy (when I first knew him.. we were teens) who would talk to me everytime I went over to the family house for Chinese New Year and other festive periods. Of course he and I got along as he spoke English well owing to the fact that he studied in England and we were about the same age. We would always sit next to each other at the dinner table or restaurant table chatting away about our experiences in campus, work, life! I had to sit on his left as he was hard of hearing on his right ear and I on my left. If we were seated on the wrong side of each other, you would hear us almost yelling to catch what each other had to say.

He was on his way to work (he stayed in Seremban on weekends and in Gemas on weekdays). Apparently, he was speeding and must be switching lanes and crashed into the back of a lorry. He died on the spot. The family was too distraught to talk about it so I did not learn more about the accident.

When I peered into his coffin (in a funeral parlour in Jalan Temiang, Seremban), I could see the injuries on the side of his head. A wave of sadness came over me. Here was a young man at the start of his adult life and then life is snuffed out in just a split second. He was going to propose to his girlfriend this weekend. He even bought her the diamond ring.

Ah Keong was well loved by everyone. A kind, considerate and well mannered person. Being the eldest grandson to a Chinese family meant a great deal. But with the passing of Ah Keong, the title goes to another cousin who is in Russia now. Stepgrandma was melancholic. It must be terrible to see a child two generations after you die before you do. Ah Keong's parents were in a daze.. it must be absolutely horrible to lose your child. I think that it must be worse than losing your parents.

But I am not sure.. since I do not have any children out of my own womb.

Having lost my mum in the tender years of my life, I definitely have to say that it was traumatic. I had asked God why she had to be taken. But there was never a perfect answer. But I had found peace instead. And yet at Ah Keong's death, I asked the same question.

Frankly I don't see how taking away Ah Keong (or even my own mum) at this time is something good. Surely not for his girlfriend or parents. Surely not for any reason. But that's just it. My evaluation is based on what my eyes can see. And what my mind can comprehend. And I have lived almost long enough to trust neither.So I have to trust in God. I have no other choice.

In the long run, God will be no man's debtor. Even Job (someone who suffered a lot in the bible) had a foretaste of this truth (Job 42: 10-17).In the long run, there is only wholeness and completeness (Revelation 21,22).
In the long run, everything will make sense.
In the meantime there is pain and confusion.In the meantime there is the absence of rhyme and reason.And so I wait upon the Lord and press on, confident that the last line of Ah Keong's life, and mine, has not yet been written. I press on.

And I continue to press on....

Sunday, May 29, 2005

This is me Posted by Hello

Friday, May 27, 2005

My ex-boss

She called me yesterday to tell me that she has resigned the morning before. Gosh! That was shocking.. this August she would have been 18 years in this company. We met at Uncle Chilli's shortly after that call. We were joined by one of the directors of my previous company, a trade marketing manager and a former GM of our logistics company. Everyone was concerned for her and she wondered aloud to the director if her move was a wise one.

We asked her why she resigned.. there are always 3 factors as to why a person does so

1) Monetary (that is not a problem.. she is so well paid that her boss (newly installed abt 1 year ago) was not happy)
2) Job satisfaction (this may be one of the subordinate reasons .. it got a bit stale after 18 years)
3) Environment (aha! "People leave managers not companies," write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman. "So much money has been thrown at the challenge of keeping good people - in the form of better pay, better perks and better training - when, in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue." If you have a turnover problem, look first to your managers. Are they driving people away? )

My ex boss said that she cannot stand the shit no more. Another one more year of this, she thinks that she will have a mental breakdown. She says that she fully understands how I felt with the system and with the frustration of not being appreciated by the new management.

We know that her move to get out will cause some changes in the company. Close 10% of us have left this year. Upper management will do what it takes to retain the rest of us. I hope that they are not too late...We shall see a dethronement of a queen in time to come...

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I would like to thank Biow and Spot for inspiring me to start this blog altho I wonder if I dare put any of my most delicate feelings in here since everyone (as if) will be reading. Let's see how this goes...

Friday, May 06, 2005

Anne of my life

Anne wandered down to Victoria Island and sat there alone, curtained with fine-spun, moonlit gloom, while the water laughed around her in a duet of brook and wind. Anne had always loved that brook. Many a dream had she spun over its sparkling water in days gone by. She forgot lovelorn youths, and the cayenne speeches of malicious neighbors, and all the problems of her girlish existence. In imagination she sailed over storied seas that wash the distant shining shores of "faery lands forlorn," where lost Atlantis and Elysium lie, with the evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart's Desire. And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
I shall give life here my best, and I believe it will give its best to me in return. When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla. I wonder how the road beyond it goes--what there is of green glory and soft, checkered light and shadows--what new landscapes--what new beauties--what curves and hills and valleys further on."

So these are pieces from Lucy Maud Montgomery's book.. Anne of the Island. I had loved the series when I first saw the show and have loved the books till now. It's got such a lovely feeling to it.. this is missing from most of the books I read today.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


On the 25th April, 2005, I went to Optimax in Tmn Tun at 9am for an eye check up and also the lasik treatment that will hopefully give me the perfect vision or rather vision that need not be aided by the thick glasses that perched on my nose. I had to lay off my contact lenses for about 2 weeks before this. If you had toric lenses, you need to lay them off for about a month (the longer the better).

After a series of checks by Jackie Chan (I am not kidding you.. his name is Jackie Chan to the letter). Chan (as he preferred to be called) wore a white jacket much like a doctor. He checked my vision ability, dominant eye (mine is the right eye), the health of my iris, the thickness of my cornea (right 581 micron and left 593 micron-if thin, you cannot go for the lasik), peered into my retina to determine if I have diabetes, took photographs of my naked eye and loads of more of tests that had me moving from room to room. In the end, he brought me to a counselling room to talk to me about the procedures of the operations whilst putting drops of liquid to my eye to dilate my pupils.

He was very nice and reassuring. After the pupil dilated sufficiently, I was made to sign the consent form (gracious, you had better read the consent form first before your pupils get dilated for you can't read anything. Thank goodness Hubbywas there and he read the whole thing for me. Then it was already 12.45pm and time for lunch. I hobbled down to Secret Recipe (hobbled cos my knees were a bit sore from the glacier climb in New Zealand last September). I ate while wearing my sunglasses. I was very sensitive to the light as I had now eyes like the cat... meow!

At 1.30pm, I was back in the clinic and was dressed like I was going for an operation. My feet were wrapped in paper shoes, my hair was capped in the same paper material and my 'operation' gown was er.. warm. Then Dr Stephen Chung gave a little pep talk. Then by 2.30pm, I strolled into the operating theatre and lay down on the table. Numbing liquid was squirted into my eye. A piece of cloth was put over the left eye and the right eyelashes were taped to prevent me from blinking. Then a ring descended and grabbed my eyeball to make it stationery. After a few seconds, my vision faded to darkness. A similar shaped ring was placed on my cornea and you can feel that something is cutting your cornea. Then when I got my vision back, I can see the doctor flipping back my cut cornea. Then laser was shot into the eye and I can hear buzzing sounds and smell burnt stuff. The machine in the background was saying "25% complete, 50% complete, 10 seconds more to go.... procedure complete."
During that time, I was supposed to be focusing on a red light above. Many times, I lost it.. the doctor kept on urging me "Ma'am.. keep your eye on the light. The red light.. we are losing you!. C'mon, keep staring at the light". I had never been in a more uncomfortable experience. Painless but darn uncomfortable. Similarly my left eye went thru the ordeal. When I was done, I felt that I was cutting onions. In fact, it was like cutting onions for the next 3 hours. Every time I open my eyes, tears will flow down. I was so mang chang.. kept on hopping and hopping. In the end, I took valium and rested. Praise God that Marido was with me and can drive me around.

Next day.. vision has improved but not totally. I had to put antibiotic drops every 2 hours. I still can't see near or far well (I have to type this note in font size 24 in WordPad) but I guess that the vision will be good by a week. Here is hoping that Marido's operation will be less uncomfortable. I plan to take good care of the poor dear this Sat.

But Lasik is great stuff!!!

Monday, April 18, 2005

I am 'workless'

Well, I have just spent my first week of not working. So far, it has been good. But I keep getting withdrawal symptoms.. little panic attacks that stuff are going wrong in the brands that I used to handle and true enough when I checked with my ex-colleagues, there are many things that is rather messy. Other panic attacks like "oh no.. I am not longer working and contributing to society.. will my brains start to be degenerate.. you know stuff like that. However the good things are that Marido remarks that I am nicer than I used to be. I am gentler and less prone to snappishness. I must admit that when I am stressed and working from 8am to 9pm each night (and weekends too), you do get a bit grumpy. Your life is already stretched that tight that another tension will make you burst.

My work was almost my life.. me the Business Manager of a multinational Swiss Company. Getting to travel and stay in beautiful hotels eg Sutra Harbour in KK (sorrylah.. i only do domestic flights). Presentations to MDs of companies... you know, stuff that makes you feel puffily important and recognised. After giving up my identity (which really was so tied up with my work/job that I was so scared to resign) I am coming to terms with myself and the person that has God as my identity. What more can I ask for? I am the child of the Most High God.. what a zinger!! So here I am planning weird stuff like studying on investments, finishing up my bead work (traditional nyonya shoes - I will finish this by end April -YES!), making jewelry out of the very expensive but absolutely gorgeous Swarovski Crystals, horse riding (it's a dream anyway), cooking (hah! ) and catching up with my old and young pals, applying for my Masters Programme etc.

I hope to come to terms with not working soon. Marido is very interested in making me into a new product... I think he secretly is doing a makeover on my perspective of life. He thinks that I have a very warped view of life.. too paranoid on too many things..... Life is straightforward.. if it hands you lemons.. go make lemonade (as what Spot says).