Thursday, December 29, 2005

Good One!

I had lunch with Monster yesterday at a deli. Since it was enclosed, the smell of the cooking seeped into my hair and clothes so much so that I really stank after that.

Today I text her to tell her about it and she says she didn’t notice any stink. To which I promptly told her, it was because she was surrounded by lawyers (she’s gonna be one, one fine day) and she quickly replied, “No, I was with bankers”. Sigh… she was right. I’ll find another one, don’t you worry.

Oh, on a totally unrelated note to the above, I had lunch at KLCC. Yup, the very place we at my old workplace use to dream of going for lunch and now I can just easily hop on the train and get there in minutes.

Busy Bee

I’ve been super busy. Yes, I know all my bosses are on leave and when the cat’s away… However, I’ve been given enough work to last me for some time. This is actually good news since I’m not left to cry myself through my yawns of boredom.

It’s coming to a month since I’ve switched jobs. I would have thought I’d get use to waking up early (yeah, 7am is considered DARN early for me) but no, I still go to bed after midnight which doesn’t warrant me enough sleep for the night. I’ve been one sleepy person at work the whole month, with bags under my eyes. Unfortunately, I’m not located at some obscure corner where I’d most probably catch forty winks after lunch but smack in the middle of the office with the common printer, fax machine and photocopying machine all beside me. There is always someone watching me. Crumbs.

I had a few good days meeting up with KS and Monster for lunch. It was a great relief to be able to talk in English. Since I don’t talk when I get back to my table, that’s the only time I get to share all the words suppressed in me. Poor KS has had a chatterbox each time he comes to pick me up coz my quota hasn’t been filled.

Tonight am meeting up with Ken who’s back from NZ. The first time we met with some other uni mates and this friend of mine who works in the same group but different company as me, nearly fell off his chair when I told him I’ve moved jobs to the same mother company as him. Guess I’ve been known to be the “loyal” one so now that leaves about 3 more uni mates who are still holding on to their first jobs.

Sorry, got nothing much to share. I’ve been WORKING. Yes, alas my time has been filled with non-stop work for the last 2 days and I haven’t had much of a life. But I did notice one thing yesterday on the way home, that the river running beside the Masjid Jamek LRT station was pretty high. The chocolate teh tarik colour mass surged angrily down the river. The power of it was rather scary but I secretly long to see the day when it floods my work area. Hai, me and my fascination with water/floods/tsunamis. But hey, I wasn’t the only one keeping my eyes glued to the river yesterday… so I’m not particularly weird.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Remembering the Tsunami

When I was much younger, I was utterly fascinated with the thought of a giant wave after I read about one that swamped Papua New Guinea. It was something unimaginable, something that would probably be enacted in a Hollywood production with small figures running away from a huge tidal wave.

Believing Malaysia would never ever encounter such a disaster since we are sandwiched between Indonesia and Borneo, I tucked it out of mind but remained curious.

Last year’s tsunami brought terror and tragedies rather than merely quenching my curiosity. The video recordings of the tidal waves across the region were not only jaw dropping but inconceivable as I watched via email as the horrific disaster enfolded before my eyes.
It came as a greater shock when one of my close friend’s uncle lost his life while holidaying in Thailand with his wife. His wife could only watch, powerless to save her husband as the waters consumed him. I can only pray for her, for every survivor and all the victims’ families that their pain will be alleviated as time goes by.

Christmas Day

As I mentioned before, KS and I had invited a few people over for dinner on Christmas Day itself. Two of our guests cancelled late that morning itself and I had to keep the second defrosted chicken I was going to bake that night. I must say I was rather upset because the excuses given were pathetic, since they had appointments which they would have planned earlier. I need not have spent so much to buy all the ingredients and now after defrosting the chicken and having to keep it back in the freezer just makes it unhealthy for consumption. Is it too much to ask to give us an earlier notice, not 6 to 9 hours before??! No manners! One of them I’ve never met before so my impression of him is phhtttt… down the drain. I’m not keen to get to know him anymore no matter how close he is to KS.

Anyways, it ended up quite well as there were 6 of us in the end and my table could only comfortably accommodate 6. In fact, with all the food, it was spilling at its sides.

KS is down with a flu but he summoned enough strength to entertain his guests. Of course, the next day he totally zonked out while I quietly entertained myself with books and tried to watch two French DVDs Amelie and Yamakaze, both of which started to jump about 10 minutes into the movie. Sigh. There goes my Amelie DVD.

All in all, I'm glad I had the rest day because the bags under my eyes have been reduced.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Coursing Through My Veins

When I was in secondary school, I used to like using this particular sentence “a coldness grasped and held the ventricles of my heart” as I thought it was cool and a sophisticated way of saying I’m plain scared lah.

Nowadays, that has to be changed to “the oily and fatty breakfasts I’m always having is grasping and holding the veins to my heart”. Mee goreng anyone?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve’s eve! I can’t do any work anymore and keeping my eyeball on the wall clock so that as soon as it strikes 5pm, I’m outta here. It’s a shame they make us come back to work tomorrow for half day because I don’t know how I’m supposed to concentrate on my work!

I’m all tingly and excited about Christmas as always. Somehow, the days after Christmas always seem gloomy and sad. Although next week most bosses aren’t around, I don’t have the same joy bubbling in me right now.

And I don’t care what the Americans say, Merry Christmas to ALL of you! Whether I’m being politically incorrect, podahlah lu. The holidays came about BECAUSE of Christmas and now you want the Holidays to take over Christmas. Chee sin…


News today says the flood situation in Alor Star has worsened. It is said to be the worst flood in 30 years, long before I shifted to Alor Star. Just looking at the pictures on the web and seeing familiar places being submerged in muddy waters stirs … well, a curiosity in me.

Of course, I’m looking at it from the position of one who is not being affected and I’m absolutely certain it’s not much fun to those who’s houses have been affected. If it’s not enough that it destroys the entire contents of the house, you are then left with scrubbing the mud from every crack and the stench will linger until you become immune to it. You then have to start refurnishing your home.
This is only as far as I can imagine, as I am humbly thankful that we never had to go through the hardship of a flood. There’s the emotional loss of irreplaceable things, memories etched into that particular piece of article that went drifting with the floodwaters.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Gift Exchange

Last night we had a gift exchange in the CG and it was really fun to see what others had requested. Since I only warned them of the gift exchange a week before, I thought it would be only fair to ask everyone to list down three things that they’d want for Christmas with a budget. Then the person who draws his/her name will select one of the three items.

What an eclectic bunch of gifts we all got! From toilet paper to a sophisticated test pen, there was a great of laughing as everyone excited wondered which of his or her three items were chosen. There was soap powder, floor detergent, cactus plants and a jigsaw with a frame.

The only drawback to this is that it takes away the “thought” behind the gift. But I’m all for it since it’s very practical and we end up having gifts we all know we’d use or want. Perhaps next year we need a different gift giving strategy. Any ideas?

Taking the LRT

One of the things that I like about taking the LRT is that I get to see the landscapes of KL which I won’t be able to when I drive. Of course I’d probably get bored of it pretty soon but every day I try to look out for new things to discover.

Like there are pockets of kampungs nestled in the midst of towering buildings or there is an Ear Nose Throat clinic operating from a quaint bungalow. Then I also discovered a little stream with stones, just like my favourite streams in NZ. Of course, I’m too far to peek at the state of the water but I’m certain it’s polluted, just like any river/stream in KL.

Then there are the things that I dislike about the LRT. This morning, it was really packed and I had to grasp on to the hanging thing (darn, what is it called?) and it was filthy! Of course, throngs of unwashed hands would have earlier held on to it and I don’t suppose the cleaners would think of wiping it. My palm and fingers have a stench on it despite scrubbing with hand soap three times already.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

So Near!

I’m getting to like my work location more and more. Not only am I close to Central Market (not that like I like to shop there), I am also close to Petaling Street. I’m getting old, have I mentioned this already?

Today we had a quick lunch at this place called Lai Foong that serves local hawker food. I’ve ALWAYS noticed this shop since young whenever we pass by Pudu area and this is my first time eating there. However, to my dismay, the guys selling Beef Noodles refused to serve me because I speak English. Even though my boss hastened to translate when he asked me to confirm what I ordered, he just walked away! B@$T@RD! I’m NEVER going to eat at his stall again. Then the drinks lady rejected a 10 sen coin that was a bit black. Hey, these people are abominably rude. Unfortunately, my colleagues seem to like the place and are undaunted by the rudeness. Sigh, I’ll just order from another stall next time.

After lunch, we stopped over at this nearby shopping mall opposite Petaling Street. One of the shops had all this funny knick knacks, things you’d consider junk but the longer I stayed, the more things I wanted to buy. I managed to control myself and ended up buying a cheap teapot with a filter to be used for Chinese tea (no, not like my cute small pot with it’s dainty cups) and a heel scrub for my Mum. I nearly wanted to get a cheap pot for boiling my tea towels but can you imagine when I go home later, I can imagine the stares of me carrying pots in the packed LRT.

Then we walked into Petaling Street. Man, I need to go there by myself and take a good look at all the things there SLOWLY. Too many things, too little time.

I can’t believe I just took less than 10 minutes to write all these and the quarter page of my proposal took me the entire morning until now. Sigh… If only I could write my proposal paper this quickly. Business papers aren’t fun.

Monday, December 19, 2005

How did you do that…

I just got an email from an ex colleague who tells me that you, Karen, have somehow managed to visit her blog. Now, how on earth did you manage to do that? I don’t have any links to her blog, neither does coffee81… That’s pretty freaky. Unfortunately, I’ve lost your email in the process of shifting jobs but I’ve reactivated my hotmail so please write to me and tell me how you did that. My friend is pretty bewildered too. So, in a bid to get in touch with you without your email, hence this entry.


Did you know that onions give you gas? I guess I might have heard about it before but it never really stuck. I remember baked beans will give you gas because of some jokes about it but I haven’t heard any jokes involving onions and gas.

Anyways, last night I (well, more like KS) found out the hard way. I had dinner with a friend who swore that the Kerabu Chicken Feet at that restaurant was absolutely not to be missed. It came with de-boned chicken feet (my first time eating de-boned chicken feet! Usually I love to chew on the soft bones and tendons that seem impossible to separate from the skin and never thought anyone would go through the trouble to de-bone it) and raw onions saturated in some light chilli and vinegar marinade. It looked doubtful but the first mouthful was enough to convince me to finish half the dish.

Later, when KS picked me up, he refused to let me talk to him and if he could, would have prevented me from breathing. Even after I scrubbed and brushed my teeth, the reek of onions continued to linger.

THEN, we learnt that onions cause gas. BAD gas.

So jadi, never eat too many onions if you don’t want to kill your mate. Now is the morning after and I’m chewing gum now to rid the last few remaining traces of onion breath.

Be Prepared!

Hot in the press these days is about the case of the naked girl doing ear squats at the police station as the court proceedings have started. Police declare that it is a standard procedure to ask detainees to do ear squats in the nude to extricate stuff like drugs and contrabands hidden up their ah, nether cavities. They insist this procedure must continue to help arrest and eradicate these smugglers.

Today, as I walk to my office, I notice this newly painted message on a corner wall that says: Pemeriksaan polis di hadapan. Bersedia untuk berbogel dan ketuk ketampi (Police check ahead. Prepare to strip naked and do ear squats).

I wish I had a camera phone.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

PJ House Again

KS has gone off to a camp for 4 days and have left me to stay with Jan for the time being. It's great having to hear the familiar LRT pass by the back of the house, the familiar pong of the neighbour's dog's poo and the chirping crickets at night.

By the way, I've finally got my email and internet connection at work. I doubt if I'd have the same amount of time for me to blog as before and I don't really want to set a bad record right in my first month. But at LEAST I have internet! Hallelujah!

Alone at Christmas

This year for Christmas, we've decided to stay in Klang instead of going back up to Alor Star. As much as I'd like to, I guess travelling in such a short period of time isn't going to help us since I am working on Christmas eve. Bummer.

Usually, I'd love to go back home and enjoy Christmas carols and food from church members back there. We'd wait up til midnight for the carollers to come to the last house and this is when Mrs Chua would make the most delicious food for them. Of course, parents and relatives to come to collect their children after a night out singing are most welcome to whatever that is served.

So this year, I'll be missing all that. I think I've already had my fare share of carols for the year though but I'll miss my parents and the Alor Star gang.

Instead, we've invited a couple of friends over to our house to see the Christmas tree which KS painstakingly decorated and have some small celebration. This is going to be my first time hosting a Christmas dinner and I'm no Martha Stewart. Most of the food is going to be plain and simple to prepare. Thank goodness most of the guests are guys who don't really take notice on whether your cutlery matches or your plates are of the same design. Haha... that even sounds terrible just saying it. Okay, I shan't say more. I'm just looking forward to the small and warm company we'd be having, although half of them are KS's workmates whom I've never met.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Switched Roles

“Honey, the leaking faucet has been fixed and the tap has also been repaired. How’s decorating the Christmas Tree coming along?”

Guess who did what. My new colleague asked if we cross-dressed at home. Even if we did, I’d never tell him, would I?


“Oh! You stay in Sea Park? I used to stay there and I love the place! It has so much good food!”

“Not really.”

“Erm… where do you work then? Phileo Damansaras? Oh, those offices are quite nice with their modern buildings…”

“But there’s always a traffic jam in and out.”

“Oh… what is it that you do then? Training? I’ve got a friend who’s a trainer and she loves being paid for talking!”

“It’s just a job.”

Sigh… I couldn’t seem to find the right buttons to push. Either that or this person was the most disagreeable person I’ve met this year.

What Kind of Chocolates…

In my friend’s office, there’s this manager who has “engrish” syndromes. She would spell “lip gross” and email it out happily to the rest of the entire office colleagues.

Anyways, what usually happens in this office is that whenever they buy food to be shared by the whole office, it would be placed in the pantry and an announcement will be made via email in the subject heading. Now, usually it would be a simple line such as “Curry puffs in the pantry” and everyone will understand.

So this manager comes back from her holiday and had bought chocolates for everyone. And the title of her email? “Chocolates in the panty”.

Extra Hands

One thing that I’m really glad about my cell group is that everyone is always willing to give a hand. If there are chairs that needs to be arranged, all will chip in. If there’s cleaning up to be done, everyone helps to clear up.

No one acts more superior than the rest and this is one thing that makes a team a great one. It is not easy to find such a group in the world out there, even when I was in uni. Some would merely watch while the rest of us would toil over arranging the chairs etc and as soon as the person in charge steps in, he/she would immediately push in the last chair and look as though they were part of the hard work.

At work, I’ve only managed to find that one team when I was in Comms. As mentioned before, I have many fond memories of when our work became an enjoyable experience because of each other.

Anyways, I was just thinking about it because we had a Christmas party last weekend. On my part, it was a disaster which I will not mention here but will forever haunt my memories and make me want to bury my head in the sand. Everyone else did beautifully and really, heading this team of dedicated folks really is a pleasure. There’s no need for me to check on whether this or that is done.

None of my CG members read my blog but I’d like to appreciate them and thank God for them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


4 years ago, I had set my eyes upon the then new Nokia 3210. It was THE phone for me and so I waited patiently for the prices to drop so that I could afford it. It was only after it nearly went out of circulation then only did I finally purchase it.

I still lovingly hold on to this old phone although the phone industry is thriving with new and improved handphones that only stop short of becoming your kitchen sink. Nokia, once the market leader, is now facing stiff competition from the likes of Sony Ericsson. One of the main reasons why the Ericsson is doing so well is because they are the cheaper option and their designs are better than Nokia.

Anyways, before I start doing a business analysis of the brands (12 days here and my language is changing), I must confess my 3210 has lately started to feel challenged. At lunch, everyone places their handphones on the lunch table and my poor 3210 is too shy to make it’s appearance in a world where phones are changed as often as wardrobes. Heck, even the cleaners and the foreign labourers who frequent the bank downstairs have newer and better phones than me.

The problem is this, I’d like a Sony Ericsson but I’d rather still have a Nokia for it’s familiar functions. Also, with a Nokia, KS and I can share chargers whenever we go away for the weekend. But the Nokia phones are expensive and well, I don’t like their new designs. Plus the fact that I haven’t figured out if I want a camera function on my phone or not makes it all more complicated. Heck, just reading what I wrote also sounds confusing.

Never mind, I’ll start saving up and hopefully by next year, would have figured out some solution when I have the cash to buy the darn thing. In the meantime, my faithful 3210 (or not so faithful on weekends when it chooses to blank it’s screen, yup, only on weekends) will remain hidden on my lap at lunches.


This term, banana, is usually used as a degrading reference to a Chinese who is unable to speak the language but understands English (yellow skin but white inside). However, I’ve chosen to use it to refer to myself albeit with a slight fondness whenever someone casts me a shocked glance when I tell them I can’t speak Cantonese, my own mother tongue.

All my almost 7 working years here in KL have not made me much better at the language despite the being the majority language.

However, I believe that is all about to change. Just like in Alor Star where I grew up, I never bothered picking up Hokkien even though I was in a school filled with quite a fair bit of Chinese students. Instead, for the first year or so in secondary school, I mixed with Indians and Malays which enabled me to speak in my second language, Malay. After that, my closest group of friends were Chinese who spoke Hokkien to no end. My first Hokkien word was ka tow, which means scissors, to ka (cut) and tow (and throw). As I now mingle with a bunch of people who speak only Cantonese, I guess in no time, I would have to pick it up by force!

One of my weaknesses is language, I must admit. If I don’t use it, words get rusty and I forget how to form complete sentences. For example, I tried talking Malay yesterday and my sentences were abominable! I couldn’t even find the right vocabulary, substituting it in English instead. My Chinese teacher gave up on me when I tried taking up Mandarin classes when I was in primary school. I proudly hold a cert to verify me conversant in Japanese but of course, you can imagine how little of the language I still hold in my brain.

The irony is that I live in Malaysia where it is common for people to talk in at least 4 languages/dialects. Shame on me!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


There is a frequent blaring of horns as the vehicles downstairs get stuck in the myriad of roads that winds around this old part of KL. This is a big difference from being in a kampung-like environment where by the silence outside is punctuated by chirping birds and an occasional thumping from the factory.

It’s slightly distracting, although there’s absolutely nothing for me to be distracted from at this point. I’ve been reading manuals and haven’t been successfully keeping my eyes open. I tribute my dark circles under my eyes as my unfit sleeping patterns. Waking up at least 3 times every working night, I would hurried check my clock to see how many more hours it would be before I would need to get up.

I had even dreamt that I had gone back to my old company on Monday. Everything was the same, no one said or looked at me strangely for having sent a mass goodbye mail and yet appearing again at work after three days. I only realized my mistake of going to the wrong office at the end of the day and had gone hysterical when KS mournfully mentioned I would be fired for not turning up at my new workplace for the whole day on my third day of work.

Anyways, back to my surroundings, there are plenty of old pre-war shops surrounding the vicinity. They are many dry food wholesalers and I think I’m going to go nuts visiting them. Brings back good ol’ memories of when Mum used to buy packs of a dozen Twisties and other junk food. I love going into these wholesale shops, squeezing my way through the narrow shelves decked to the brim with goods. Hmm… it’s similar to the sundry shops but a slightly larger version of it.

As for food, everything is walking distance. I’m generally not fussy about food (KS, wipe that disbelieving look on your face), well except when it comes to green veggies, and there are plenty of food varieties available here. Tucked in strange nooks and corners, there are shops that have existed for generations. The secret recipes have been successfully handed down and are delighting the many stomachs around here.

Another of our offices across the street has the train running right beside their windows almost every 5 minutes. Those working there shrug it off as part and parcel of their working environment. I must say I’m glad that I only hear the horns at jam hours.

Oh, another thing that I’ve observed for the last two days is that some girls who work around this area wear skirts that make my jaws drop. Their slits on their skirts are incredibly high! Whether their hemline reaches their knee or skirts below their bum, their side slits reach up almost to the waist! Ok, I’m exaggerating but it’s high enough to cause eyes to pop. Too bad I don’t have legs like that to show off…

U2 Tickets Sold Out!

Within the hour the tickets were put up for sale in Australia, all U2 concert tickets were sold out AND placed on ebay for the highest bidder. Every single concert from Adelaide to Sydney, 70,000 tickets gone in 60 minutes!

My sister-in-law couldn’t even get into the website to help book for us the tickets. So, looks like our trip to Sydney next year will not be happening. :(

Malaysia’s Most Beautiful

I’ve been wanting to talk about this new reality show here and even from the clips alone, one can see that the 14 girls brought together to be judged as Malaysia’s Most Beautiful is really done in bad taste. In line with most of the reality shows out there, they bitch against each other and although the producers claim the show is supposed to find beauty within and not so much on the external, the girls are showing off their best “assets”.

Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with showing their best assets just that it’s disgusting if they are beautiful on the outside and horrible on the inside and claim they are Malaysia’s Most Beautiful.

Jan was discussing this with me the other day saying that the real test would be to get the girls to compete in cooking Malay, Chinese and Indian food. Then, judge them as a tour guide to any state in the country to two tourists each. They must know what that state is famous for, introduce them the places of interest and where good food can be found. The final test would be to make them walk in a park whereby there will be an overturned rubbish bin and to see if any of them would be civic minded enough to pick up the rubbish. Or help a blind guy cross the road.

One has to encapsulate Malaysia’s best in order to be named Malaysia’s Most Beautiful. Not some backstabbing bitching session to see who gets ousted. Shame on Revlon and Marie France for sponsoring such a programme. I’m never buying Revlon again.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Lucky Rat

Again we caught a rat and this time, KS had agreed for me to kill it and dispose of it. My normal method of rat killing is to leave the fella out in the sun to kill it within two hours.

However, this rat got a lucky break as the sun wasn't it's usual glaring self. By the time it past 2pm, I gave up and gave the green light to KS to release it at the posh residency across the highway, which he did in glee.

Even if I had the option of throwing it out of the window of a high storey building, I wouldn't have because it's been proven to be most excruciating to watch if it doesn't die instantly. Thanks for reporting on your experiment, Karen. I also wonder what the jeep owner would have thought upon returning to his/her vehicle and to spot the dead rat on the roof.