Thursday, February 26, 2009


Be careful what you wish for. Not too long ago, I told KS in frustration that I'd rather just do operational work for reasons which I won't bother to reveal now.

Last Wednesday, operational work came seeking with a vengeance and I only had Sunday as my Sabbath, going home every night at almost 11pm. Hence, the silence on this blog. It is a mindless checking of details of which my poor colleague has to key in.

I took my camera to work on Saturday and took a picture of the amount of paperwork that has descended upon us. Each application takes about 7 to 10 minutes to print, check, key in, check, approve and send to Bank Negara. The amount we achieve in a day is pathetic, what with juggling our other tasks too.
We have now achieved three boxes of this paperwork as at today. But they still keep coming...

Anyway, I'm glad to say that the number of applications have tapered and we now are able to catch up with the amount that comes in on a daily basis.

Actually, there is quite a lot of funny learnings from this but I can't share it on the blog due to BAFIA (Banking and Financial Information Act, I think) which doesn't allow me to reveal stuff about my customers. Just that there are so many people with the name Ah Moy (in various spellings) when I was told it is a crude way of calling a girl these days.

And no, I don't really think I'd enjoy doing operational work if it involves work like this. My eyes are already protesting from the strain of reading various handwritings and badly photocopied ICs.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bali - Again

It looks like my Bali trip is going to happen after all! My Mum-in-law is making the arrangements and with the MAS fair that's going on now, the fare is really cheap, at less than RM600 for going to and fro. Bali, here we come! (This time for real)

Uncle Lay Kim

This is my Uncle Lay Kim, my Mum's step-brother. He is now in an old folks home in Melaka after he fell ill and couldn't work in the quarry anymore. He doesn't remember me much and each time I visit, I would ask him who he thought I was and he can't. But it doesn't matter. What matters is that he is being properly looked after. He has long term memories like "Your mother's Mum took my jacket away" but cannot remember that my aunt took him out for a day trip the day before.

He used to bring my siblings and cousins firecrackers every Chinese New Year in Melaka. He would appear sometime in the night armed with a boxful of fireworks, to our delight. He bought us all sorts of fireworks that were available then. It was a wonder we never set fire on the coconut plantation at Taman Muhibbah in Klebang with our setting off every bit of the fireworks. But I know we terrorized the neighbourhood and even challenged a neighbour by firing crackers at their direction (I wonder now if this was the neighbour who is my church member in PJ!).

Now I try to visit him as often as I can and meet some of his needs like getting a newspaper subscription to him, looking for a sturdy magnifying glass, magazines, clothes, small change, biscuits. He still keeps his quarry work in a file and reads it now and then. I better go look for suitable magazines to pass him soon.

Burp Vs Fart

Okay, this blog isn't supposed to be talking about dung and other bodily functions but I'm feeling slightly down in the dumps, scared $hitle$$ of upcoming work next week, pissed over being dumped on added stress at work. So bear with me for a bit.

It appears to me that there is a social unfairness to farting in public as compared to burping in public. How many times have you heard people burp in public, without so much of an embarrassed "Sorry" and a red face? People try and keep their farts in private, as they should, but why shouldn't burping given the same treatment? Or, why can't people accept the fact that humans do fart and why not in public?

In fact, in Japan, burping is a good sign that you've thoroughly enjoyed the meal. Homer Simpson burps on TV.

Below a table of comparison:



Comes from a hole in your body

Comes from a hole in your body

Gas from food intake

Gas from food intake

Makes strange body sounds

Makes strange body sounds



Socially acceptable

Not socially acceptable

See how there's injustice??

Okay, I'm complaining because I can't burp. Nope, I'm totally excluded from the privilege of burping those loud, stinky ones after meals, thanks to my body make-up. But I am usually surrounded by people who do and I get the waft of their barely digested food on many occasions. Plus, I know who it comes from. Sigh. Next time I'll just deliver my silent killing farts around them as payback.

All About Dung

I had the pleasure of accidentally watching a show on the History channel called "All About Dung". As you may already know, my family has this strange fascination for dung to a point that we talk about it freely during meals, much to KS' consternation.

Anyway, this show revealed many fascinating facts about dung. Did you know that it can be made into gunpowder? Unfortunately, they didn't explain how to do this so I can't divulge the secrets of literally bombing someone with your stool.

Another interesting fact was that there are some food made out of animal dung. There's the most expensive coffee in the world, called kopi luwak, which are undigested coffee beans excreted from a civet cat.

Picture taken from here.
This is found in Indonesia. The locals used to collect and sell the to the Dutch when they occupied Indonesia about a hundred years ago. Ingenius way of making a living, I must say.

Then, there's Argan oil, a type of oil used for salads, dipping bread, heck, even in cosmetics. It comes from goats who climb the argan tree and eat the argan nut.
Picture taken from here.
Again, these argan nuts pass through the goat's digestive system and tadah! Extract the oil from these nuts and you get, Argan oil.

Other interesting stuff was how the term "Being dumped on" and "Sitting on the Throne" (from a king who used to crap on his throne-like toilet while dishing out advise to his kingdom) came about and the Roman culture of communal dumps. They'd actually share a stick with a bit of cloth on one end to wipe themselves, you know, there, after pooping. Passing around the stick can be tricky and that's where you get the term, "Getting the wrong side of the stick" came from.

And finally, there's cow dung which is used in India to lengthen the life of batteries, dried cow dung used as fire elements to cook... Gosh, can't wait to properly watch the whole show again on TV.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Perak Mess

Perak is now in a total political chaos. Three idiots decided to jump ship from the ruling government (the opposition) and equalized the number of those in both parties. The Sultan decides to put his hands into the mess and makes a decision that has created further chaos. Ah... just go read the local blogs and papers to see what I'm talking about.

Ipoh Trip

Last weekend, KS and I went back to Ipoh to celebrate the Hokkien Chinese New Year. Since I was inspired by a photography newsletter which said, "Bring your camera along with you wherever you go", I thus took loads photos with the intention to blog.

Here's a typical trip along the highway from KL to Ipoh.
We passed at least 50 Zhulian signboards along each way. I have no idea what Zhulian is nor am I interested to find out. All I know is that they have a lot of money to be able to have signboards at almost every 5km along the entire PLUS highway.

Here we see beautiful hills being chipped away.

Upon reaching Ipoh, we were given KS aunt's room. She has this wooden layer on the bed that resembled mahjong chips.
It was surprisingly comfortable and extremely cooling even during the afternoon heat.

Okay, here comes the animals. We went to visit relatives at the temple and the place is a menagerie, teeming with dogs, cats and tortoise, living together. Yes, they ALL live together in perfect harmony. The cats and dogs are strays or abused whom people dump at the temple.

Some dogs think they're cats and some cats think they're dogs, like this one we call Elizabeth Taylor:

She sits by the door and although she can't bark, if she sees anything amiss, like an injured dog outside, she will promptly find her owner to duly inform her.

Then there's a really feminine dog whom is appropriately called Girly:
Her gracefulness captured my heart. She reminds me of the Simpsons dog.

This is Pearly, who is the only cat who hasn't overcome her fear after she was abused by her previous owner. She stays in the safety of her cage and hisses at anything that tries to get near. I have successfully touched her with her consent twice now. She has blue eyes, which unfortunately this picture doesn't give justice to:
And this is Jerry/Jelly (I can never tell for this name is informed to us by various Chinese people). She loves being carried.

The only interesting tortoise was this one who tried to climb up a brick and was stretching itself so hard I was afraid it'd pop out of its shell:

Saturday, February 07, 2009


Today is one of those weekend mornings when I awake with a palpitation due to stress from work. Doesn’t happen often but it’s become more frequent with this new job.

I read about Obama admitting he made a mistake in selecting the Health guy who is having tax problems. It is radical for a president to admit his mistake as I have never heard any of our Malaysian politicians doing so. It makes him human, as he is going through the process of running the government.

Similarly, I wish I could do the same at work. Email blast out saying, “Okay, we’re going to do this project and since this is our first time doing it, we would appreciate any help and every cooperation as we bump along the processes. Forgive us as we will be bound to make mistakes. Guide us, for we are ever willing to listen and change.”

Sigh. If only. Unfortunately, this ain’t the culture and will jeopardize my reputation.

The good side of it is that I no longer am constipated; I always have the “shit in my pants” syndrome these days.