Saturday, April 29, 2006

No More

The end of Bloody Day era is gone. The link is no longer working for 2 days now. KS is in mourning.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Besides filling up our tax forms, KS and I have been entertaining my sis-in-law and her Japanese friends. They are really hilarious. One of them, Asami, uses her sense of sound for directions. The other Japanese friend flings her hands up in defeat as she describes how she tried to send Asami home one day.

"Wait, I must hear the train passing the tracks at the correct crossroad" or "I take a left at that house that has a radio playing"

And since Asami is short, she never bothers to look up at signages. She doesn't know what road she's on because the road sign is taller than her or she walks into the Men's because the sign is stuck higher than her.

Long Time No Hear

It's been some time since I last spoke to my parents, as I don't make it a habit to call them. So, sometime last week, I called my Mum but she was at a Ladies Meeting. Instead, I tried calling Dad but because I didn't have an agenda, our conversation (or rather, MY conversation) was filled with lots of insignificant things and he just didn't want to talk to me even though we haven't spoken in almost a month.

He swiftly cut the conversation short "because I'm watching a movie on Astro so ok-ah?" *beep*

So much for catching up. But I found this kind of conversation normal with Dad. When Grace called him to inform him of her first pregnancy, this is how the conversation went:

Grace: Dad, I'm pregnant...
Dad: Oh... (pause). Er.. Is Matt there?
Grace: Yeah, wait...
Matt: Hi Dad!
Dad: Matt, you know that watch you were looking at....

Maybe that's where I get my practical genes from.

That Time of the Year

It is that time of the year when we come into contact with the most efficient department in the government, the Income Tax folks. This year, they have what they call e-filing, where you can fill your tax returns via the internet. I think this is a great feature except that the entire thing is in BM! Sila muat turun Flash di sini. I am SO confused with the BM translations of the internet jargons. Muat turun = download! Sheesh.

As usual, the dateline is 30th April and throngs of people are now scrambling on getting their forms and trying to submit them before the office closes. It's amazing how Malaysians never learn about procrastinating. I submitted mine waay back... 48 hours ago.

My Dad has drilled and instilled in me the fear of the Taxman since I started work. Each year, he would send reminders and phone calls before the deadline. Somehow, this has not filtered through Jan and she's not submitting hers this year - again due to the fact that she's below the taxable income. I hear conflicting views that one SHOULD submit anyway so to avoid from having the Taxman interrogate you when you next want to buy a house or a car.

All in all, I'm happy to say that for last year I'm paying nearly RM50 in taxes. I look forward to paying more this year. Bah, 6 years of work and not paying tax is just sad. Enough of being underpaid, I say.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I outdid myself on Saturday. Woke up and made waffles for the first time in my life, recipe courtesy of The first batch turned out ok but the second one just didn't rise. Time to look for a new recipe. Waffles, nice... with kaya and butter.
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After that, tried my hand at Grace's carrot cake recipe, also for the first time. Despite all the hard work of grating the carrots and smashing the almonds, the cake was relatively easy to put together. However, I think it turned out to be less desirable. It wasn't sweet enough and I hadn't chopped the pineapples finely enough. I made it as we had a gathering on Sunday with my CG, sort of a house warming thing.
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Of course everyone was very supportive and some said it was great. Hmm... that may be so for them but I personally didn't quite like it. Maybe I've used the wrong brands for the ingredients and I'll defenitely add more sugar next round, if there is gonna be a next round.

KS was truly fantastic, though. He sat and grated half the carrots until he couldn't take it anymore and volunteered to go wash the toilets instead.

After he left for church, I idly surfed the net and still feeling restless, I went downstairs and made my mum's 3-layered jelly (although I created a mess as half the jelly spilt onto the floor mat). But heck, this is for personal consumption so it doesn't matter what it looks like.

All in a day's work. Now my legs are aching from standing up too long. Eagerly awaiting to see what nips my fancy next weekend. I just need people to eat them.


We just hosted my sis-in-law's Japanese friends on Saturday night. They have the funniest ways of expressing their delight and almost everything is new to them. Suddenly, I'm now appreciating what we have here in Malaysia.

"This is a banana tree"

"Go on, eat the mango." "But we've never had mango fruit before. We love it. In Japan, mangoes are very expensive. We only eat mango pudding and sweets."
"What? Roti canai is less than AUD0.30?" (all monetary amount is valued in AUD as they spent a lot of time in Perth)
And our breakfast at an Indian roti shop was met with satisfied sighs of "O.... oishii!" (delicious) and kaya was an instant hit.

Last night, we also had another type of visitor.
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Doesn't she/he look like Jay? I still can't figure out if it's a male or female. It looks male, meows like a male but is missing his balls!

By the way, (s)he was so angry at my numerous flash of the camera that after I took this one, (s)he was blinded for a while and angrily took a swipe when I tried to pet it's head to ask for forgiveness.

Ah, we'll see how long (s)he'll hang around. Not much character though as (s)he's not very fun to play with.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Looking for a job in KL?

My team in the office is quite a large one, with about 15 people in the Marketing Department. Although when I first joined, one left the day before and I thought, “Hey, that’s pretty normal” and shrugged it off. My boss never made any pretence that people stay and retire there like back in my old company. This is, after all, a Marketing department and people are young and dynamic.

Then last month, another one left. She was leaving to go back to her hometown to get married. That’s fine too.

Since last week though, there was 2 confirmed resignations and 2 more by the end of next week. They have all turned to ask me how I feel and I try to nonchalantly shrug it off. It happens. But it doesn’t. This is an exodus that’s difficult to believe since my previous departments never had so many people and never had the chance of seeing so many people leave in such a short period.

Of course there is a worry, how on earth are we going to cope with more than half the team missing? And looming ahead of us are huge projects no one is willing to take up from where the rest have left off.

Anyone wants to join us? We’ve got at least 8 vacancies. The office is emptying and depressing.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Went to the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra on Sunday. Took with me three newbies who were eagerly waiting for this since we bought the tickets last year in September. The highlight for me was Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony although there was a violin concerto of some sort which I wasn't familiar.

Anyways, of the newbies, one felt like vomiting the whole time and kept dabbing minyak angin while the other slept during the best movement of the 2nd Symphony. The one who slept later declared "we should do this more often next year" and that she found it "interesting".

The next time I go to the MPO, I will be going alone.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


My bible is missing. :( It's small, leather bound in burgandy and was a gift from KS. And it's been missing for 2 weeks now. I don't know where it could be.

How I first accepted Christ...

I was talking to Jan this morning and remembered how I had first accepted Christ into my life. This is also the version which I will doubt I'll be using when I go on my mission trip.

I was about 2 to 3 years old and my family was in Melaka during the school holidays. It was just after dinner when we were watching the news on tv on some country that was being ravaged with war. Pictures of people carrying and wheeling their belongings to an uncertain path ahead flashed across the screen with a grim message etched with each nameless face - war is not something we'd want to experience here in Malaysia.

With the tv sufficiently instilling enough solemness and fear, Grace turned to Karen and I. She was reading the papers and had bookmarked a page with a picture of a skull (I believe it could have been an ad to deter people from smoking) and asked us if we wanted to accept Christ into our lives. "Otherwise, you will die and end up looking like this!" and she dramatically flashed the picture of the skull.

She quickly ushered us into the back room and made us say the sinners prayer, all the time holding the picture of the skull readily in case we changed our minds.

Watch out for more Stories of my Sister when I remember them.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Being a Magician

I believe most of us would have come to a stage in our youth when we'd want to learn to be a magician or pick up a few magic tricks to impress others. And because tricks can be improved with practice after practice, it is not difficult for someone to put their heart into it and be able to pull off any trick.

However, not everyone gets to be a good magician. One needs to have a pleasant, charismatic and engaging character in order to draw people into the trick and to pull off a trick with aplomb. Magic is, after all, an interactive sport.

Unfortunately, for my launch yesterday, our "magician" had neither of these characteristics. In fact, he had a sour demeanor about him and although his credentials were that he had performed in Vegas, we should have checked what he actually did in Vegas or when. His magic tricks were deplorable and old. In my old company, we got a clown who did clowning and the same magic tricks this magician did.

Anyways, it's over and now I'm finally sick with an official MC for the day. Had a fever and sore throat since Saturday night.

The V Script!

Voilà! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is it vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished, as the once vital voice of the verisimilitude now venerates what they once vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a by-gone vexation, stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin van-guarding vice and vouchsafing the violently vicious and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance; a vendetta, held as a votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and the virtuous. Verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose vis-à-vis an introduction, and so it is my very good honor to meet you and you may call me V.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Crumpled Shirt

Sometime last year, I bought a crumpled shirt as I thought it would be easiest thing to wear without any ironing required. Now, after a few rounds of wash, it's become uncrumpled.

I'm now trying to dry it by wringing it and pegging it that way. Is that how it's supposed to get back it's crumples?

Holi-holi- day!

This is one thing that I absolutely love about being in Malaysia. Besides the food, that is. It's the multiple holidays we get to celebrate (or not!). Today is Prophet Mohd's birthday and here I am, lazing at home, enjoying the day off before the big day tomorrow.

And so what do I have planned for this day off? Absolutely nothing! I'm starting to get bouts of sore throat and fever since Sunday so I'm just taking it easy. It won't be fun having a fever at my product launch tomorrow.

Other than immersing in U2 as usual, I'm now hooked onto Sudoku. Thanks to my Mum who's a Sudoku fan, I was at first baffled at how she could spend a good part of the day just playing it. I spent hours pouring over one she passed to me until I gave up. Then I was shown the easy level Sudoku. Of course lah my Mum was doing the goodness-knows what level!

Dang, it's getting addictive! I've done like almost a hundred now, trying to beat my fastest time of 4:45 mins. Of course, having it online allows you to "cheat" and check your answers as you go along. Try it?

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Camera Cleaning

Found this photo taken during my lunch meet up with my ex colleagues before Chinese New Year. Yumm... don't you love a good cendol? The restaurant provided the option of how much coconut cream and gula melaka to add. I had something else so I can't describe what it tasted like but it looks delicious.

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"Diggin' in a Hole"

Last year, I went to see the doctor about the ringing in my ear. She told me it was because I so frequently dug my ear (with a hairpin or the metal ear digger) which was why it's affected my hearing and thus getting this ringing in my ear. But hey, it's not like I dig my ears every day! It was more like once in one or two weeks.

So I immediately cut down on the digging to once a month but the ringing continued. Now I haven't dug my ears in months but there's still the ringing almost every two days and my hearing seems to be diminishing (unless KS and Jan have a problem with their articulation but I doubt it).

I'm scared of going deaf. Maybe Malaysia is too noisy. KS, let's shift to NZ?

Fried Worms?

It's been a helluva week with my product launch coming up next Wednesday. Apart from work, I haven't had a social life for some time now.

Managed to squeeze in a half hour at CG last Wednesday and my cell leader just came back from Chiang Mai, Thailand. At the end of the night, they announced, "Ok, who wants to eat worms?" and promptly brought out a box packed with, yeah, fried worms.

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Yes, this is how they look like and yes, I ate half of one just to try it. Surprisingly KS had one whole piece although he's one who can't even bear the thought of eating frog legs. He later told me he ate it out of being kiasu, scared he'd lose out to me as he thought I'd be brave enough to eat it. Unfortunately for us, it was the other way round.

Yucks! Can you see it's head and legs? This confirms that eating fried tarantulas in Cambodia isn't going to take place as I had first envisioned. It tasted of kuaci and if you're interested, these pieces will remain uneaten.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Citrus – Food Review

Last Saturday, we were in Ipoh to celebrate KS grandma’s 81st birthday. In his family, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s and Father’s day are all heavily celebrated besides festivals from New Years Day to Christmas.

Mama, as we call her, is one cool Chinese lady. I suppose growing up with my family makes her very different from my grandmas or even my mum. For one, Mama loves Western food and every year, we will take her to eat Western meals. Her favourite? Chicken Maryland, batter fried chicken fillet complete with a deep fried banana.

The place we took her this time around is Citrus, somewhere near the Jaya Jusco in Ipoh. The first impression of the place was a little bit cold, with most of the ambience decked in art deco, hardly inviting. I would prefer wood with soft lighting but I digress.

The first course of salads arrived and we realized this is a place where food presentation is a pride. My Wild Mushroom soup arrived and it wasn’t made from a can. Already half impressed my judgment of the place.

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Then, my salmon steak arrived. It was beautifully presented, half sitting on a bed of fresh French beans and half nestled on a scoop of warm mashed potatoes, with a drizzle of white and brown sauces on the perimeter of the large dish. I later discovered some other vegetable soaking in the sauces and even though I could not identify what veggies they were, they were so generously saturated that my tongue wasn’t able to distinguish what they were.

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The most interesting part of the dish was the garnishing of fried lotus root, lingau. It was crunchy and tasted of nga ku, the fried root only available during Chinese New Year, my favourite tid-bit of the season. It’s also an ingenious way of lending an Oriental touch to the dish.

The crust of the fish steak was well done but the core was medium rare. Juices oozed with every bite and the flavour was flawless, as any salmon would be when it is fresh.

And how much did this salmon dish cost? RM23, no kidding. My plate was clean when I was through. If you ever go to Ipoh, try this place. It was packed on a Saturday night though.