Sunday, November 25, 2007

Shopping Weekend

This weekend is supposed to be a shopping marathon. Because my next three weekends are going to be filled. And my wardrobe refuses to cooperate with my body in terms of size.

So today, I'm supposed to be at the gates of the new shopping mall in Mid Valley as they draw open. Yeah right. Here I am still in Klang. With KS still lolling in bed.

But another thing that is worrying us is the road closures due to some protest that is supposed to take place in KL in front of the British High Commissioner. What's becoming of this country?

Alumni Rep

I'm currently considering the post of being the Alumni co-Rep for my Uni here in Malaysia. Yes, although I have graduated over 10 years ago, however, we still keep in touch with our fellow uni mates on numerous occasions in a year. Thankfully, our Alumni is unofficial, which means there's no pressure to HAVE a function each year and neither is there a fee for everyone to pay nor an AGM to attend.

So as part of an initiation into the duties of a rep, last Friday I was invited to another NZ uni's alumni gathering which was held at the NZ High Commissioner's residence. Preparing for another round of being a wall flower, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the guests were extremely pleasant and hospitable. I ended up staying on longer than I intended.

But then again, these people know each other and have reached a certain status in their life without having the need to prove their worth at functions like these. It was fun reminiscing NZ with them and I found out that if you do a PhD in NZ, your entire family can go, with your spouse being granted a work permit and your school going kids enrolled in local schools. Fees for your PhD and your children are in domestic fees. Which means HUGE savings! And this is open to anyone, not just NZ grads. Interested, anyone?

So on Friday I hear good things about going back to NZ, then on Saturday I meet the pepper spray stranger (who says he's a Kiwi now) at the eerie mall who insists I should go back to NZ to "fight for my rights" and save a million bucks on my children's education. I wonder what holds for me today.

While it was fun, I am still uncertain if I could ever attend functions like these on my own once the current rep steps down. I'm no social butterfly and my other co-rep (yes, it needs two people to fill the current rep's shoes) is worse.
So I'm still mulling over this new responsibility.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Eerie Mall

Today I dragged Jan to go clothes shopping with me to a boutique in Damansara Perdana. We got there at 11am as we figured most shops open at 11am, right? Okay, we were wrong. They only open at noon so we were left with an hour to idle around the place.

We wandered into the mall nearby, Tropics Mall. The last I was there, they had some quirky shops and because it was new, not many were open. But as that was some years back, I thought there'd be more shops there by now.

Wrong again. This was what greeted us at the entrance:
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Excuse my unclear photos as I took it with my camera phone which has never been cleaned/serviced. And there was strong sunlight.

Anyways, so there were these giant vases. And we walked in only to be greeted with more vases and strange looking furniture carved from wood. It reminds me of a particular friend's house in Alor Star who's father carved tables and chairs from wood he found from jungles, while maintaining the original shape of the wood as much as possible. But that's another story.

Then we noticed more carvings. And man, they were HUGE!
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Not to mention eerie. Notice all shops were unoccupied. And there wasn't a soul in sight except for an odd guard or so.

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I got Jan to stand beside the demonic lion for size comparison. There were others like the 8 dragons chasing a ball of fire carving and three enormous peacocks that were larger than this lion.

Then there are strange ones like these:
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I'm sure these have something to do with feng shui as otherwise who would have thought of a pair of some large flamingo-like creature balancing one foot on a dragon-headed turtle while the dragon is trying to snap at it's other foot? And I thought Ents were of awesome imagination.

I'm also wondering if people actually buy these things and put them at home. What a fright to encounter these carvings when you go downstairs for a glass of water!

We later encountered a stranger at the mall who chatted with us for more than half an hour and gave us a pepper spray and a VCD on occasions when you'd need to use one.

Folks, the Twilight Zone exists in Damansara Perdana.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Yes, I finally had my first bite of THE current best doughnut in Malaysia. Had a meeting at Pavilion and convinced my boss and colleague to queue for half an hour just to get a dozen J.Co doughnuts.

Unfortunately, my stomach was acting silly and I only managed to take a puny quarter of the peanut butter one and a mouthful of the glazed doughnut. After that, I felt so jelak and was almost gagging with the thought of the next bite.

No, the doughnuts were fine just that I was still recovering from my alcohol the night before combined with the starchy gnocchi swimming in cream that I had for lunch just before the doughnuts. In fact, they were more than fine. The dough was different. Softer. Without the doughnutty taste, you know? Or maybe it was because it was eaten really fresh. Whatever it was, I think I will attempt a second 30 minute queue for them.

Now I'm really curious how Krispy Kreme tastes like.


Yesterday I visited an Alternative Health Fair at PWTC for the heck of it since my company was participating in it. Walking around, I came across this booth which said they could read your health status via looking at your eyes. Curious, I sat down and the doc took a photo of my eyes. He then proceeded to tell me things which I already know and things which I thought was absolute bull. "You have back pains", "Your menses aren't regular" "You are moody and if you have 2-3 kids, you might even become insane!"

After listening for a few minutes, I just laughed and excused myself. His assistant chased me down the hall and told me his consultation cost me RM20.


My Work Area is Happening!

Recently, my office area was swamped with a massive protest. I was, fortunately, not in town at that point. Go search Bersih anywhere on the internet for more info.


Speaking of being drunk, there was one particular event back in my old company when we had wine tasting. I was in charge of the reception and couldn’t resist a few sips of the white. This was the first experience of taking wine on an empty stomach. It was quite embarrassing because I became extremely chatty and giggly.

And when a local writer turned up, I made him sign at the back of my card because “I have your book, I SWEAR I HAVE YOUR BOOK! I’ll stick this at the cover of your book!”

He gave me a strange look but obliged. I know I really chatted with another stranger and when I see his card in my cardholder, I still cringe in embarrassment. And I never want to see that writer again. I still have the book with the carefully stuck card that says, “You have been very kind”

Wall Flower

My new job scope requires me to attend functions, where alcohol is served with little or no food. My previous job had already exposed me to a myriad events where one will encounter air kissing celebrities and the happenin’ folks of Klang Valley. But the last time, I had a few colleagues to drag along who were as happenin’ as I was – NOT (sorry, Monster & Wei Kim, not to say you guys weren’t happenin’ but I think you know what I mean).

So last night I went for a store opening with my boss. Him being the boss, was ambushed by the store owner while I was left fingering the expensive silks and pretending to blend in with the Camelia’s (I only recognized her), some famous designer and the higher echelons of the society. I took a few sips of the white on an empty stomach and couldn’t walk in a straight line. I actually crashed into something but thank goodness for a timely phone call that allowed me to walk away from the mess with as much dignity as a drunkard could.

Anyways, the entire night was spent trying to walk around and looking for anybody vaguely familiar (met an ex-colleague whom I was never really chummy with) and basically wanted to disappear into the walls. My boss conveniently used my illness as a scapegoat to excuse us from the event as early as it was politely possible.

You can tell I’m such a social butterfly. What the heck was I thinking when I said I wanted to do this new role?!

They're Growing!

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Ever since Jan and I planted the bulbs, we’ve been watching the pot every single day, so much so that I actually had dreams about people destroying the pot, digging them up and basically killing them. Yes, I have very weird dreams. Of course, this is related to the fact that I have absolutely no trace of green hands so I was worried for a while there.

Until the little things started popping out of the surface! Man! I felt like I had given birth! I cooed and excitedly talked to them. And do you know, they grow so fast, an inch per day. This is so exciting!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bukit Tinggi Again

Just got home from my department's second off-site brainstorming session yesterday. And I'm now on MC from the flu. This time around we went to Bukit Tinggi, Gracehill Orchard Lodge, where I went in August for my cell group's multiplication.

It wasn't as gruelling as the first brainstorming as my boss was more into having fun. And fun we did have, going to the waterfall, swimming in the pool and playing games til past midnight.

I think this time around I have gotten used to the complains around me. It's never easy to please everyone on location, on food, on facilities. Not sure if my boss will ever let me organise another one after this though! None of them liked the fact that there was no electricity for most part of the day.

As for my birthday, I spent it on brainstorming, visiting the waterfall and having McD's for dinner with my colleagues. It was great.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


Two surprising conversations today. I have been called many things so far but today, my colleague topped it with "You are very brotherly...". Of course, his ears exploded with my tirade that immediately followed. He then explained because he didn't know if there was such a word as "sisterly" and promptly got another firing from me.

He is not going to be allowed to use the toilet at our upcoming brainstorming and I'm only going to equip him with a plastic fork to dig his own shit hole.

Second one was while talking to Jan, she was talking about a friend who tried a Jamie Oliver recipe. And she doesn't know who he is.

"Well, it's not as if he is as famous as Martha Stewart. You do know who Martha Stewart is, don't you?"

My sister, whom I swear does not live in a crack between some limestone hills somewhere in Borneo, has never heard of Martha Stewart.

My 1st Planting in Over 10 Years

Actually, I don’t remember the last time I tried to plant anything. Ron’s lily bulbs arrived from Australia, short by a few days right after Mum left and so the planting was left to me.

With almost detailed instructions (I shall explain why), I set out looking for two pots for the four bulbs. Measuring tape in hand, it wasn’t as easy to make the selection. Plastic? Ceramic? Settled for ceramic because it was RM5 cheaper. And because Mum says all her plastic pots haven’t lasted her.

Jan and I took about an hour just trying to plant them according to the emailed instructions (locate the pots where there’s only morning sun, plant them at a 45 degree angle, sprinkle snail poison on the surface) while our neighbour watched in amusement, punctuated by our curses exclamations.

Finally, when the task was done, I SMS-ed Ron, who immediately called and asked if I had planted the bulbs facing inwards. Now, this was NOT in his instructions so I had to dig them out all over again to see if I had done so. Of course I had to carefully pick out the snail pellets one by one before digging into the soil.

Jan still doesn’t understand the love of gardening. I feel the same but I guess when the flowers start blooming, you feel that satisfaction. However, I know some flowers will take over 2 years or if you are not careful, the flower may die even while it is still a bulb and you have to wait for another year. THAT’S the part I don’t understand either. So, for someone who’s grass is dying, we’ll see in a few weeks if our planting is successful!

Friday, November 02, 2007