Friday, December 29, 2006

KS' Revelation

"So while you were away, I met up with Kenneth"

"Oh yeah? "

"Yeah, I was talking about the things you like to do, y'know, the DIY stuff, computer games, reading. Then suddenly, I realised I'm married to ... a NERD!"


Just got back from Singapore yesterday. I'm trying to clean the house and blog at the same time, doing both unsuccessfully but I can't help it! The urgency of doing both is killing (and I won't give you a sen to know which one I'd rather be doing!).

Anyway, I'm glad to see that the number of presents under the tree have grown and KS has not opened any of them until we could do it together. Ain't that sweet? :)

Singapore was great. I know I said we went there to see the lights but actually, it wasn't on our agenda at all. We went to Orchard Road only the day AFTER Christmas as the shops boasted Post Christmas Sales. Unfortunately, it rained the entire day, was absolutely crowded with people lining up to try on clothes and at the cashiers. The sale was mainly for their loyalty cardmembers, clothes did not look appealing and the price tags were still way too high. Give me my PJ shopping malls!

I did see this man take a photo of a huge lingerie poster at the ladies undergarment section on his handphone. He saw me observing him and didn't have the cheek to look embarrassed. In fact, he took his time taking ANOTHER shot. Hamsap man!

The other days were spent walking along small shops in Ang Mo Kio. We were bargain hunting and bought ridiculous things like tissue paper (I kid you not, we bought 8 large packs) and bought up the entire Hang Ten shop. Every day, without fail, we'd buy something from Hang Ten. Maybe it's because Mum has a loyalty card and they gave a further 10% from their reduced prices. No way can you find such a deal in Malaysia!

I love Singapore for it's cleanliness, it's orderliness, the prompt transportation, covered walkways. As soon as we step past the causeway to Johor, the change is very apparent with muddied potholes in the roads, blacked sidewalks from soot, touts shouting their taxi services... absolute chaos. Reminded me of Gotham City. Black and dangerous.

But give me Malaysians anytime. Singaporeans are too rude for my liking. Impatient and intolerable. So, I'm still glad to come home.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ang Ku

We have renamed Dat Fella to Ang Ku (as in ang ku kuih). Let me explain briefly.

My cousin gave KS and I some roasted chicken, two red eggs and one ang ku kuih as a celebration of her son's full moon. Only Jan was interested to consume it and we were talking about it rather loudly since I was in the kitchen. Dat Fella was sitting just outside the door and meowed loudly whenever we mentioned the word Ang Ku.

Since she looks rather reddish, with a stump of a tail, Red Tortoise seemed like a fitting, bisexual (since we're still not totally convinced she's a she) for Dat Fella. Hence, the birth of the name.

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Here, she is seen cleaning herself up after her very first bath. Although she protested loudly throughout the bath, I suspect she rather enjoyed the attention bestowed upon her. And the short privilege she had of roaming the house freely which she occasionally abuses up till today.

Christmas Tree 2006

Our Christmas tree was up since last week. Of course, it was KS who set it up and the pressies at the bottom is courtesy of yours truly.

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Merry Christmas everyone! I'm going off to Singapore now.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Warning To My Siblings...

You know that water system I was to set up for my parents? The day I got home, I asked what had happened to that project. Mum flared up and said Dad didn't know how to fix it up properly and Dad retaliated by saying she shifted plants on a weekly basis so this upset the system. Thus it is not his fault!

So after that few heated words, I have left the "discussion" as it is. The pipes remained coiled on top of the chicken run. Dum di dum... Let sleeping dogs lie, ya?


On the first day of coming home to Alor Star, I was sleeping the entire morning, ate lunch, slept in the afternoon, ate dinner and slept until the next day.

Today, my last full day of being back, I was absolutely packed from learning how to bake Mum's famous banana cake in the morning, meeting up with Tsiang after lunch for ice kacang and then to horse riding in Sungai Petani with two other friends.

Now I'm bushed but happy that I've managed to catch up with friends whom I haven't seen in yonks.

And tomorrow we head back to PJ. Can't believe I initially thought I'd rot away here in Alor Star with nothing to do! I'd like another week here please. I'm just beginning to enjoy line dancing on a daily basis. I've eaten more veggie than I've ever had in months. And today, Mum cooked OATS to be mixed with rice for lunch! Ugh! So... healthy!

Something about the Alor Star air. Or maybe I'm just enjoying my holidays. Only thing that keeps me from truly enjoying it is the various calls I've been receiving for work. Every working day. Dammit.

Monday, December 18, 2006

For Her Sake

What a great morning! I actually woke up for Line Dancing with my parents. Today they were teaching a new dance step which I learnt the final few steps. Of course, without the music, everything seemed possible but when they danced to the music, boy, I was one confused dancer!

Above all, I'd like to comment on a lesson of love. My Dad has been an avid tennis player and liked nothing better than to take us exercise when we were young. Badminton, swimming, tennis, ping pong, you name it. Unfortunately his enthusiasm for sports and exercise never raised an interest from Mum (and me now!).

Now that Mum is so into line dancing, I can see how Dad really makes the effort to wake up at 6:30am every morning to go line dancing with her. He is the only man there in the midst of 50 - 60 ladies and he stands in one corner while Mum dances with her friends. He fumbles some steps but is determined to dance.

If left on his own, Dad would not go line dancing at all. Whenever my Aunt talks about line dancing, he's hardly as excited as Mum about it. But because he wants Mum to exercise and to keep her company, he does this every single day. This is how Dad shows his love.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Shopping Frenzy

That's what I was up to for the last two days. Covered several hours in IKEA/Curve on Friday then today more hours at 1 Utama. My feet hurt and my credit card is in pain from too much swiping. But man! This is fun!

And tomorrow I go home to Alor Star where the most exciting thing happening is the recently opened Giant. Sigh. I may join my parents Line Dancing one of the days I'm back. What's stopping me is the waking up at 6am to reach the destination by 6:30am. To line dance. Hmm... I've got at least 6 days. I'll see how bad this curiousity needs to be scratched.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Toll Hikes

The Malaysian Minister of Works, Samy Vellu, has announced a New Year's gift - Toll Hikes.

Right now, I pay RM6.20 daily just to go to work and come back. That's going to increase to RM7.60 per day, that's more than RM200 per month if I calculate Saturdays just going into PJ.

Samy Vellu says, if you don't want to pay the toll hikes, take a hike and use the Federal Roads. Problem is, petrol prices had gone up this year too which makes every jam (which happens at every federal road) use up more petrol and hence, more cost to us drivers.

Either way, we lose.

Productive Day

My first day of leave proved to be extremely productive! I'm really happy I filled it with:

Finishing up Life of Pi
Gift wrapping 30 books for Jan's doorgifts for her ministry's dinner
Doing 3 loads of laundry
Pulling a bagful of weeds from the garden
Starting on Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
Making 22 cupcakes
...and a partridge in a pear tree!

Notice how there is no: sweeping or mopping or cleaning toilet... In fact, I completely forgot to check my emails which I promised I would to my partners. Hence, there were quite a few urgent ones that needed my attention. At nearly 9pm.

Today, I plan to do what I wanted to do most when I took this leave - go shopping at The Curve/IKEA. Then later I'll be helping out with blowing balloons for the Children's Church party for tomorrow.

Man, I'm enjoying this holiday!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Camera Phone

This is what my boss got for us when he came back from Egypt. It's a scroll made from papyrus. What really excited me was that I wanted to dip a portion of it in vinegar to test out the theory made real in Da Vinci.

Sorry, no scenery photos from my phone yet. I reckon 2MP with an auto focus is good enough to post up on blogs, eh?

Christmas Gift for My Parents?

One more day of work... and then I'm on call holiday! Yeah, my boss has allowed me to go on this long leave on the condition that I'm on call. Bummer of a holiday.

Days seem to stretch forth endlessly but judging from the things I plan to achieve this holidays, the time and resources seem a bit too short. Of course, most of the time is allocated to surf the internet and read. What a sociable calendar that lies ahead... NOT!

My plans for when I get back to Alor Star is especially tight. Other than meeting Tsiang and little Eliza and baking, hopefully I'd get the ball rolling for my parents to start putting up the watering system in the garden. My parents were so excited since they went to Canada years ago and saw my Aunt and Uncle having a system in the garden and vowed to do the same so that every time they went away for long periods, their plants would not die.

After hunting for the perfect system, getting Ron to export the timer from Melbourne, running from one Ace Hardware outlet to another just to get that one particular plastic thingamajig, they have coiled the tubes on top of the old chicken run which does NOT need watering. It's been there for over a year now. And almost every time my parents reach home from PJ, Mum will sadly report, "My so-and-so flower/plant died".

I only have about 6 days in Alor Star. Question is, can this be achieved with such a tight deadline?

Monday, December 11, 2006

No (But I Mean Yes)

I was relating a story about Eric again during lunch, about how his ex-girlfriend once told him not to follow her to her car parked at a darkened basement. He took it literally and left her to walk to her car herself after she repeatedly refused him to accompany her. As soon as he got home, he received a call and an earful from her for not being gentlemanly and insist on accompanying her.

My female colleagues agreed that they do this sometimes. My question to them was, "WHY?". Why do women say one thing but expect others to do just the opposite? Even as a girl, I get frustrated hearing their answers. "Sajalah. Sometimes we just like to manja. He should know better anyway..."

Gawd, KS, I give you full permission to force feed me a green leafy veggie if I ever do this to you, ok?


Today being a public holiday in Selangor, brought about foreign workers in droves to my office area as they came to settle salaries and bank in to send home. The 5-foot way was filled with Bangladeshis, Indonesians, Vietnamese... you name it.

My colleagues and I walked through a throng of them and one of my colleagues shuddered. "Ew... I feel so scared walking amongst them". I was pretty surprised to hear that reaction from many of my other colleagues. I mean, they're human, aren't they? What's wrong with walking amongst them? And as curiousity got the better of me, after lunch I detached myself from my colleagues to go to a tuck shop and purposely walked through the thickest part of the crowd.

I suppose it is because when I was in NZ, a lot of Kiwis felt threatened that more than half of the Auckland population was Asian and they started to get uncomfortable. Then some of them became abusive. I hated the feeling and I suppose I don't want to treat them like how I was treated when I was the foreigner.

"But they will start to fight without any reason and you might be there at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Honey, you can be at the wrong place at the wrong time anywhere.

Funny News

Today in the papers, there was this guy who got stranded up on a billboard for more than half the day. Apparently, his friend and him went up there to remove a spotlight and somehow, as his friend left, he took away with him the ladder.

Now this man straddling the billboard was there from dawn until past noon and he used a metal rod to shoo away the firemen who came to bring him down with a ladder. Since it was getting hotter, the firemen doused him with water, taken from a nearby drain. If you know Malaysian drains, they are usually thick as gravy and stinks till high heaven.

In the end, they managed to drag him down using a forklift and in the process, one fireman slipped and fell, spraining his ankle.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Came & Gone

So our friends have watched U2 live when they were in Australia and Auckland. This sucks. One came back wearing a beanie and is sporting a goatee a.k.a. The Edge. Tickets on ebay Australia were going for triple the original price prior to the concerts. Now we were told that there were some people desperate to sell off their tickets on that day itself at cost. That sucks even more. Dammit.

The Parasite On The Tick

Last Friday, my company, or rather, my division met up for a game of inter department bowling at Berjaya Times Square. It was quite fun with all the cheering and shouting that went on. There were roughly about 800 of us and it really struck me how big my company is. This is not full attendance and this is one of the several divisions of my bank.

Whenever I give my name card, people always gape at the title of my departments. It was only after a few months of being with the bank when I asked my then boss, "What department AM I in anyway?". Unfortunately, my timing for asking the question was in front of my partners who dissolved into giggles. My boss merely shook her head.

I'm in the Co-Brand & Innovation which is part of Marketing & Sales of Cards & Unsecured Business under the Consumer Banking Division. Confused yet? Yeah, I'm the little bug on the slightly bigger bug.


Thanks to Kelvin, I now am able to watch what I downloaded from BitComet. Problem is, my broadband isn't fast enough and my downloads are slow and painful. And unfortunately, it seems that everyone is into Season 7 when I have only watched until Season 4. Hence, the download capabilities is greatly reduced with past episodes.

I will persevere...

Oil & Water

I've just been handed a project at work that involves something totally un-me. It's like asking me to eat green leafy veggies every day. And the bosses want it pronto.

But wait! I'm on long leave starting this Thursday! See how enthusiastic I am about this project...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Un-Happy Feet

Everyone said it was good. Some said it resembled Riverdance, and all went away tapping their feet happily exclaiming "Oh, that was so cuuuuute!". Me? I walked away in absolute disgust. Why?

Tell me, would it have taken the world to stop commercial fishing at the Artic if they had seen something as phenomenal as tap dancing penguins? Okay, so there AREN'T tap dancing penguins. But there ARE gorgeous and cute creatures out there in the real world that are going extinct this very moment.

The part when Mumble returned to his clan with the tracking device, I was absolutely sure he had brought annihilation to his entire clan especially when the humans tracked him down. I was half expecting the wreakage of their home with the bulldozing ship and all the penguins scattering in fright and confused anger.

I wonder how many who have watched this movie felt that in real life, the penguins would have died generations after generations until a mere handful would be left before any futile attempt is made to save them?

Let's try something closer to home. What if the movie were made of a cute looking shark, with lovely parents. Then suddenly the poor kid sees his mother with her fin sliced off and left to bleed to death. I wonder, will that stop people eating shark's fin? No, I don't have that faith in humans.

We are like a virus, a plaque that spreads and kills everything in our paths - Matrix. How absolutely true. What are we doing, as individuals, to change our paths of destruction?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Looooong Break Looming

It's finally December and Christmas is coming!!! I absolutely love Christmas and have always felt we've enjoyed several "white" Christmases despite the sweltering heat here in Malaysia. All I had to do was stare into the tv when they were showing one of those Christmassy movies, with a good thick snow outside the home, with snowflakes gently falling and the family cuddled up in front of the fireplace.

So much for my Hollywood Christmases but somehow it would be THE perfect Christmas when I'd be able to do that one day. First, I need to be in a really cold country. Secondly, I'd need to be in a home with a huge fireplace because in that weather, I doubt if my quadruple layering would permit me to sit still.

As kids, we'd usually spend our Christmases in Melaka. We'd decorate the trees with cotton wool, sing carols until midnight (or until our eyes shut). One year, my cousins and my siblings saved up every coin we had and pooled our resources together to buy everyone gifts. THAT was really fun as we planned this in surprise, from purchasing to wrapping to playing Santa past midnight. That was one of my best Christmases ever.

Anyways, I'm taking my holidays starting next Thursday until Jan. Phew! This is fantastic! I've never had so much leave EVER, even after working 7 years in my previous company. Banks do have a lot of benefits... :)

Monday, December 04, 2006


Before I sleep, there is one thing that I found weird today. Over the last 4 days, when I couldn't sleep from too much sleeping, my mind wondered and grasped whatever that would distract me from sleeping.

One of it was the thought that Jan should not be leaving her house gate open when she goes out, which she often does even when she's gone for a couple of hours. It crossed my mind that someone could be watching her patterns and could very well ambush her as soon as she reaches home. So I thought this weekend, I'd better just tell her to be careful since the PJ house is located in the areas with the highest rate of crime.

And today, she tells me she's been having nightmares about the EXACT same thing at the EXACT period of these few days. I swear I didn't read her blog nor did she tell me prior to this evening.

At least now she's never going to leave her gate open but this is a strange phenomenon.

Noticing Nonsense

Today must be a festival for the Indians because all my Indian neighbours have lit candles all over their garden.

Then it suddenly struck me, most major celebrations have some form of lights. Chinese have their lanterns and firecrackers, Malays and Indians have their lamp oils and Christmas lights.

Okay, going to stop noticing nonsense and go to sleep now.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Horrible Hosts

Both my parents and in-laws are fantastic hosts. When you stay with them, you are never in want or need. Both will feed you incessantly even though you've just had a meal or that their fridges are chock full of food.

When you put both sets of parents together, as how my parents have stayed with my in-laws recently, my parents were fed until they nearly burst out of their seams!

So it is absolutely a shocking and horrible fact that their offsprings, KS and I (well, more so I), are truly terrible hosts. I've always known it but the knowing of a fact is never as painful as it is when you are being faced with it.

KS has already gotten over last weekend's visit by my in-laws but I'm still recuperating from the embarrassment and lack of hosting skills we've shown onto them. They deserved so much more than our lack of attention to providing some even basic needs such as breakfast!

Ok, I won't go into details but the only way I know how to rectify this is to host more and more people at our home so that we know what to provide without being asked. Anyone care to be our experiments?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bit Torrent

My colleague introduced this software to me and I finally figured out how to download Gilmore Girls. Unfortunately, when I play the file, it comes out as a sound file and not a visual file! I'm so frustrated! Even though I just uploaded the latest version of Winamp it refuses to play.

I'm still ill but at least I can stay up a bit longer now and had my first proper meal which I promptly purged after half an hour. The chocolate flavoured medicine the doctor gave may be a little mild but I'd rather it mild than have it clamp my entire passage like the last time around!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stomach Flu

I've been sick like a dog the last 2 days. Only managed to consume about 3 glasses of warm water in the last 36 hours and yet I still manage to purge.

But it's great being able to stay at home without having to worry about getting an MC. I have 13 days leave to clear so this is one good way of clearing it! Well, not exactly.

Ok, my brain isn't functioning anymore and my fingers are curled. I'm going to sleep again.