Thursday, December 30, 2010

Public Holiday, Huh?

I was driving to work this morning when I heard over the radio that our Prime Minister has declared tomorrow as a public holiday. The reason? Our soccer team has won the World Cup!!!! not World Cup, but the AFF Suzuki Cup. I was like: "What the ****?"

Look, it's not that I don't like holidays, who doesn't? But is it necessary to declare one just because we've not lifted the Cup in 21 years? The only ones who "benefit" from holidays are the civil servants who don't have to serve customers or replace classes on another day. What if we had won the World Cup, I wonder? 

Seriously, if they want to declare a holiday, they should give us two days off annually for every major festival  but no, cannot do that as it affects productivity, right? Hmm...

Anyway, look on the positive side. We don't have to wake up early to work tomorrow. It's gonna be a long weekend, the highways are gonna be filled with vehicles, and major cities will be clogged with visitors.

N.B.: Malaysia lost 2-1 in the second leg, but in the first leg, they won 3-0. I don't think that's an improvement.. hmm...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Eve in Church

Christmas Eve was a meaningful event this year, as it was the first time in a few decades, I am attending the service. It wasn't as glamourous and glittery as it used to be years ago; there weren't any decorated lights or lighted pine trees unlike in other churches but then, Christmas is not about all these fancies. It's about the birth of Jesus Christ. We were entertained to some performances by the church choir who were dressed in modern white blouses and red skirts for the ladies, and red shirts and ties for the men. Gone were the white gowns with purple sashes that drape around the necks. Times have changed, but not the spirit.

Wesley Methodist Melaka Choir
The crowd wasn't as large as it used to be. I guess as time goes on, people - especially the younger ones - go to malls to see Christmas decos more than going to church. The elderly... are probably busy looking after their grandchildren.

Yup time has changed :)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Luck!

People don't believe in astrology, numerology, palmistry and geomancy. They don't believe there's such a thing as luck; they don't believe that our lives have already been pre-determined at birth, therefore you can't change it, but along the way, there's something called luck. Watch this video. He's unemployed for 18 months, walks into a McDonald to order his food, something caught his eye, then he became an instant millionaire. And he doesn't even play lotto or buy Magnum 4D regularly. How would you explain this phenomena if it's not luck?

Luck plays a part in our lives. If you have a loving family who understands your needs, that's luck. If you have a job which pays your bills, that's luck also. You're promoted though others are more senior than you - that's luck with hard work. Out of nowhere, a nice girl comes along and you two start dating. Isn't that luck, too?  Then there are people who keep having strings of good luck, so what? They were born under the lucky stars, I suppose.

There's nothing to be jealous about when people have luck. You have your own too. You don't have to rob other people's happiness as a result of their good luck just because you cannot enjoy the same.

You are LUCKY enough to be born, and to live in this generally peaceful country, not in a war-torn, poverty-stricken and calamity-prone one. Forget those recalcitrant politicians. :-)

Monday, December 20, 2010

First Time Christmas!

Christmas is just a week away, but I've already started celebrating - my first ever Christmas celebration in my entire life. I invited a few of my colleagues to my mini party. We had a gift exchange too. Well, I've to thank someone for making it a special event. Here are some photos taken on that night.

The door deco - simple but symbolic
My first Christmas tree - minus the snow
My friends: truly 1-Malaysians (Malay, Chinese, Indian)
Ze Cuisine - glorious food. Pot luck style.
Presents for everyone
The whole spread
Pretty baubles
Not champaign, but apple juice

It was a memorable night... hopefully, it won't be the last. Looking at how things go, I don't think it will. Thank you God. :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Celebrate What, ah?

A few minutes ago, I met my boss at the elevator and the first question she asked me was: "Are you celebrating Christmas?"

Err... gee. It's kinda tough to give an immediate response because those who know my story also know that I went back to church - yeah, went BACK - only recently. Therefore, I'm not a Christian yet. Nevertheless, the answer I gave my boss was: "Yes... and Chinese New Year too." because I'll continue going to church.

Apparently, she was told that I'm involved in a Christmas celebration, and she thought that anyone (born in Malaysia) with an English name, by default, celebrates Christmas. Boy... was she wrong! I told her that some parents prefer giving English names to their children so that it's easier just to call by that name. You know how long and difficult some Chinese names can be sometimes, don't you? The other reason (which I didn't mention) is that some people have English names just to be glamorous, or want to be in the same "league" as their idols. These names don't normally appear in their identification card.

So, yes... I'm celebrating Christmas from 2010 onward... and Chinese New Year, too.
Well, now that's cleared. :-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Love You is Hard to Say

I was reading a fellow blogger's post recently, and I've this big question in my thick head. Is it so hard for us to say "I love you"? Oh no..., we can say it effortlessly to our girlfriend and boyfriend, but we can't seem to force it out of our mouths and say the same to our parents (or even to our spouses). In the same light, our parents don't know how to verbalize the THREE words.

My conclusion is simple: Most Asian families are not accustomed to being expressive in terms of showing their love to their offspring, but they certainly are expressive in an argument. It is still so damn bloody hard for me to say the word "LOVE" to my mom and dad as I feel so bloody awkward, but deep in my heart I know I love my parents though I do not explicitly show it to them by verbalizing it.

On the day my ex-wife's parents announced the divorce to my parents (we were both present), my dad gave me an earfull when the other party left, but he was kinda sympathetic. I felt so bloody guilty, I stood there and said to him: "Can I give you a hug?" My dad was speechless, he nodded his head, and I hugged BOTH my parents. Of course when that happened, my ex-wife and her parents were long gone. I have never given any of them a hug in my four decades of existence, and it took something so drastic to happen for me to do it. Yet, I still don't feel "nice" if I were to go home each day and hug them, so I don't do it. I want to, but I can't. Try as much as I can, I still can't.

Is it a sin? To me, it is not. Sometimes, what matters is not your action, but the content of your mind at the point of action. Do you really mean it?

I'm not putting the blame on anyone here, but if one day - if that day ever comes - I remarry and have a kid, I pray hard that I'll be a better parent, educate my child so that he/she not only loves, but know how to say "I love you" and mean it from the bottom of the heart.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Look at the picture below, and guess where it was taken.

This is not London

No, it wasn't taken abroad. Instead the photo was taken in a renown shopping mall  where  I went  a couple of days back. Those who have been there know where it is. In fact, any shopping mall you go to, you'll see lavish Christmas decos. Besides listening to songs, and admiring the ornaments on the trees (now they come in three colours - orange, green and white), I wonder what else Malaysians know about Christmas.

Not everyone can celebrate Christmas, but everyone can take part in the celebration. There is a difference. Regardless of what race you belong to, you should know why you celebrate your festival, and why others celebrate theirs too. Don't let shopping centres educate you, because they don't.

In the meantime, just enjoy the celebration and pray for continuous peace and prosperity in this country.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Woozy and Queasy

Today isn't a good day for me. I woke up feeling queasy, and dizzy. It wasn't a joke when I felt it; I don't remember when I last felt this weird. There was headache, and my eyes could hardly open. Yet, I had to force my reluctant feet to walk and teach the 8:00AM class.

No, I'm not pregnant. I went to the restroom twice this morning. The second time was really a bad one. No need to describe the shitty details as it's gross. I don't remember eating anything wrong last night or even this morning. It could possibly be due to exhaustion of "running" around town and out of town recently - yeah, age is catching up on me, but maybe it's just an excuse. I don't know.

Breakfast is usually quite heavy, but this morning just ate a bit. I didn't even order a glass of plain water as I normally would. Somehow, there's just no appetite. Maybe I should just go home and rest, and later come back for the 2:00PM class - nah... next time i'd just bring a pillow and a bed spread, lock my office door and snooze. That would be cool, huh.

It has been 4 hours since waking up at 6:00AM, and I still feel woozy and queasy.

Friday, December 10, 2010

What Kind of Relationship?

How long can a marriage last? Some of us have a delightfully happy marriage (you're blessed), some have a rocky one, while others have ended theirs. When a marriage fails, the blame falls on incompatibility. Maybe, but that's not always true and that's not the main reason. Personally, if you want your marriage to work, you need to have a really good relationship with your partner from Day 1. You need to work hard.

If you expect your spouse or partner to be there for you all the time, but you do not reciprocate, then your relationship with them will go downhill real quick. Men often believe that when they're into a relationship, all attention must go to them; well, if you have that kind of mentality, it's time to change because in a relationship, you'll need two hands to clap, and these hands have to continue clapping till the end of time. To be fair, it goes the same way with women too.

If you assume that life is so simple that you could just let your partner go any time you don't need them or when you're sick of them, then you're sadly wrong, too. It takes a long time to build a relationship. An everlasting relationship constitutes a continuous act of getting to know each other - it just doesn't stop when you're married - it goes on. Therefore, don't just let a fish go if you believe it is very precious to you just because there are tonnes of other fishes in the ocean that you could choose from. It is sometimes the ugly fish that could sometimes give you the best taste (but it depends on how you cook it, too).

Don't you ever believe that if you want to have a successful relationship, both need to have some common interests. Well, in my personal point of view, that's a biased statement. Two people can have many opposing opinions, likes and dislikes, and attitudes yet get along very well till all eternity. For instance, you could be a doctor, and your partner could be an administrative clerk. If you could just let go of your status-consciousness and egoism, and focus on building your communication and relationship instead, then sparks will fly. There are also sacrifices to be made - and both parties need to do that. If either one is egoistic and chauvinistic all the time, then the relationship will eventually crumble.

And yes, some people are just not meant to be with each other. I can't deny that. No matter how hard you both try, there's simply no chemistry. Then, the relationship has to be platonic.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Love - Say What?

Can someone tell me how "love" is defined? Can we show love without showing? Do we have to actually see the action of love to be loved?

Many of us subconsciously or consciously think that love has to be shown. Therefore, the following are all acts of love:
  • kissing and hugging
  • holding hands, waist (and anywhere legal)
  • giving presents, money (and credit cards)
  • remembering birthdays
  • celebrating anniversaries
  • speaking gently to one another
  • sending greeting cards
  • saying "I love you" with plenty of saccharin
  • calling nicknames to show affection

Are the following then, not acts of love?
  • praying silently for someone's health, prosperity and wisdom
  • being worried that someone is not well at the other end of the world
  • making regular phone calls to check on someone
  • going home regularly as you know your folks are getting old
  • stopping your car in a way that it's easier for the passenger to alight
  • working hard so that your family has good financial standing
What's wrong with people anyway? Just because we don't explicitly show or tell you that we love you, you believe that we don't love? I don't have to say: "Hey Jane, I'm helping you out with the chores because I love you." or... "I'm calling you tonight because I love you." Do I have to go to that extend to convince others that I love them?

Honestly, I'm not bothered. I don't have to say it. I just do, and if people say that I have a heart of stone, let them.

By the way, how many of you still say "I love you" to your spouse after years of marriage? If you do and mean it, then good. If you don't, then just do something to show your love. If your spouse takes no notice, it's pitiful.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

When People Can't Shuddup

Office politics, office bitching, office back-stabbing, office ass-licking ... all of them suck BIG time.

Those of you who have nothing better to do but look into other people's business, please buzz off. Those of you who are so free that you meddle into your friends' lives, please shoo! Those who enjoy killing their friends' happiness by spreading "news" along the corridor just because they themselves can't receive happiness - or have not arrived at that stage yet - should just jump off the Petronas Twin Towers.
God gave you a mouth to speak, ears to hear and eyes to see.

God never gave you a mouth to slander, back-stab, and bitch about others. He never gave you ears to hear, and then spread the "word" around about people's personal lives for the enjoyment of others. He never gave you eyes to see your friends' happiness, only to pull them down by saying things that are detrimental to the soul.

So, people... if you've nothing better to do at the office, just go fly a kite. That way, nobody (else) gets hurt.

Language Destruction or Evolution

It began with the ubiquitous SMS. Now it has spread to any forms of writing, formal or not, online or offline. I'm not talking about the communications technology itself but the language used as the result of this technology. It has become so fashionable to use abbreviations in our wireless text messages that even in formal writing, we may inadvertently write in the same way we send SMSes.

"I need to see you A.S.A.P". Looks/sounds familiar?

Then, we also have other common ones like:
  • OMG
  • BRB
  • BTW
  • WTF
There are other not-too-common ones, at least to me they're uncommon like:
  • TTYL
  • BFF
...and, just a minute ago, I received a message that read:

"GBU and ur family" - It took me a few seconds to guess what GBU is.

Is technology destroying the language we use, or is this what we call the evolution of language?

By the way, who owns a car with a registration plate bearing the number "WTF 69"?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Innocent Kids

Why do we love children? ... I received this via e-mail this morning, so I thought it's good to share with all of you. Gosh, that makes me wanna have a kid, too - any kid.


I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, 'Mom, that lady isn't wearing a seat belt!'

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, 'The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.'

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup out of the jar. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. 'Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle.'

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, 'What's the matter, haven't you ever seen a little boy before?'

While taking a routine vandalism report at an elementary school, I was interrupted by a little girl about 6 years old. Looking up and down at my uniform, she asked, 'Are you a cop? Yes,' I answered and continued writing the report. My mother said if I ever needed help I should ask the police. Is that right?' 'Yes, that's right,' I told her. 'Well, then,' she said as she extended her foot toward me, 'would you please tie my shoe?'

It was the end of the day when I parked my police van in front of the station.. As I gathered my equipment, my K-9 partner, Jake, was barking, and I saw a little boy staring in at me. 'Is that a dog you got back there?' he asked.
'It sure is,' I replied.
Puzzled, the boy looked at me and then towards the back of the van. Finally he said, 'What'd he do?'

While walking along the sidewalk in front of his church, our minister heard the intoning of a prayer that nearly made his collar wilt. Apparently, his 5-year-old son and his playmates had found a dead robin. Feeling that proper burial should be performed, they had secured a small box and cotton batting, then dug a hole and made ready for the disposal of the deceased. The minister's son was chosen to say the appropriate prayers and with sonorous dignity intoned his version of what he thought his father always said: 'Glory be unto the Faaather, and unto the Sonnn, and into the hole he goooes.' (I want this line used at my funeral!)

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. 'I'm just wasting my time,' she said to her mother. 'I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!'

A little boy opened the big family Bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages.
'Mama, look what I found,' the boy called out.
'What have you got there, dear?'
With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, 'I think it's Adam 's underwear!'

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What do You Want?

Do you know what you want in life?

If you do, then you're blessed with the ability to decide the path that you're going to create for the rest of your life. You know your dreams, your desires, your future plans for yourself and your family. People in this league dare to fail; they'll fall, stand up and walk with their heads held up high. These are positive-minded people who believe that negatives do not have a place in their life. While they know their life's destination is not vital, they have a firm mind, and their feet are solidly planted to the ground. These are the people who would go far in life... and would one day succeed.

If you don't know what you want in life, you'll spend most - or the entirety - of your life looking for that special something as you don't have any one to guide you. You'll be like a lost lamb not knowing if what you're doing is right or not. You're afraid that making mistakes would destroy you; therefore you comfortably stay where you are. If you don't know what you want in life, others would most likely despise you, blaming you for your inferiority and for being fickle-minded when you keep changing your mind, or you can't make that crucial decision to move on. Not knowing what you want in life is like an eternal curse. It haunts you as you can't decide and stick to that decision; and when there's hardly anyone out there whom you could reach out to, things become bad.

So, what do you really want in life? I don't know... some people spend their entire life not knowing what they want. Could they be helped, short of sending them to a shrink?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Power of a Child

I used to blog-hop at nights, checking out other people's posts. I've stopped doing that lately due to unforeseen circumstances. During my blog visits, I noticed many posts of family-related issues, particularly those of children, with pictures of them that depict their innocence and antics being splashed across the page.

When you have a child:
  • you learn to be a mommy and a daddy
  • you learn to exercise patience & understanding
  • you learn about yourself - they have YOUR genes
  • you learn to be more hygienic to ensure your child stays healthy
  • you learn new things so that you are able to bond with your child
When you have a child:
  • you see joy in their faces, and you'll be joyful too
  • you see tears in their eyes, and you'll be tearful
  • you see them grow, and you'll be proud of your achievement
When you have a child:
  • you think before you act, for they pick up things real fast
  • you think before saying anything bad, for they learn words quickly
  • you think before making any drastic decisions, for you know they need you
Children are indeed wonderful people; it's because of children that people change, mostly for the better. It's because of children that life that sometimes sucks becomes more bearable. I don't have one myself, but when I read those posts, I'm just glad to see how happy it is to be a parent.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Can't See

I see people, in their darkest moments, smile.
I see people, despite not having all the luxuries in life, smile.
I see people falling down and picking up their lives again
I see people cracking the hardest rock till none remain

Here I am in tears
Wanting to wash away my fears
Here I ask "Why me?"
Is it just meant to be?

I am blind
In a tunnel of blackness
What could I find
Other than madness?
Where is the light?
It's nowhere in sight!

This satanic nightmare must cease
Let me go, please, in peace
I want to taste the limited sweetness
I want to feel the ultimate boldness
I want to ride the path to happiness

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Buying Genuine

I needed Microsoft Word installed on my old notebook to faciltitate word processing. I've been using Open Office, which is free, downloaded from the Internet. However, I found that switching between Word (in the office) and Open Office (at home) with the same document causes a loss in formatting. Guess what? There was a bargain at, and I bought an original version for RM279 - Word, Excel, Powerpoint. That's all I need, and I got 3 licences, too.

I had thought of getting the copied version but from past experience, it's not worth it. From now on, I'll just get originals as they guarantee functionality and security threat-free.

This is my new "toy" - the Student 2010 Edition

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weather Fury!

The front page of the local papers says: "Weather fury" in big red letters, and you see this photo. A glance at it makes you think that occurred in the U.S., but no, this one happened in our own backyard yesterday - in the northern state of Perlis.

The mini twister at Jejawi, Perlis. Photo from The Star Online

If you've often thought that Malaysia will never experience such a weather phenomena, think again. Tsunami struck us once a couple of years back. This is not the rage of God to show His anger at us. It is a sign that we all have to pray for a better tomorrow, and that those affected will be in good hands; it tells us the devastating effects development has on our planet. There is power in a prayer.

We should all pray that our generations to come will be able to sustain the savaging environment as a result of the actions of their forefathers - their greed for more money, their quest to be the best in the world, their thirst for power have hastened the Earth's premature demise. Let us pray that our future generations will help save the planet, or at least let it live a little longer. A-men!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Silent Heartbreaker

Question: What's worse than a heart attack?
Answer: A heartbreak

While a heart attack could possibly be genetic, a heartbreak is not. Any one of us could suffer from a heartbreak at any point in our lives, some more often, while others none at all.

Believe it or not, the broken heart syndrome causes the release of plenty of stress hormones (adrenaline), making the heart weaker and temporarily "stunned".

"Acute emotional stress, such as being involved in a car crash, losing a loved one, losing your job, going through a divorce, having a bad boss and experiencing natural disasters such as tsunami or earthquake, are known to be triggers in healthy adults... (Dr. Zulkeflee Muhammad, Clinical Cardiologist, NHI Malaysia)" - Read more here.

In Malaysia, when someone loses a loved one and is heartbroken, they're left to deal with the situation on their own. Some managed to wake up and move on easily, while others struggle for years before they could stand on their own, and there are some unfortunate ones who would take their own lives to end their miseries.

Family members can't do much, relatives just make a mockery of the loss (esp. if it's a divorce), colleagues lend both ears but only to give you a chance to speak to "someone" whom you badly need. Going to a psychiatrist costs money, not to mention that people's perception of you change the minute they know that you've gone to a shrink. Where is the Support Group? None... not in Malaysia. Here, you'll need to be a member of a religious community in order to be "saved".

So what happens to those who have this broken heart syndrome? We can only pray for them that they will eventually see the light, and if possible, be with them as much as we can - not just to listen, but to comfort and to guide. Leave them alone, and chances are, they will go astray.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Melaka Holiday, So...

It's a holiday today - a special holiday to commemorate Melaka as a Developed City. It's a one-off holiday, and I got to know via office e-mail yesterday evening. There was a big celebration at a stadium, and a really horribly massive jam that puts the jam in Fed Highway to shame.

This morning, the weather has been really gloomy. Thought of cutting the grass, but I it rained last night. The grass was wet, so cannot cut using the machine. I went out, had my breakfast at a mamak store nearby, eating the roti canai again. I got home and the first thing I did was to turn on Astro, the radio channel, loudly. Silence often kills me. I then went upstairs and ironed my shirts - well, not an expert - but at least the creases are not very noticeable. I rested a while and checked my e-mail. Nope, nothing to read.

Then I took out the vacuum cleaner and sucked out all the dust in my bedrooms upstairs and downstairs. Floor feels cleaner but not clean enough. I shall mop the floor another day. Once done, I rested and surfed the net, checked Facebook for any updates on anything interesting. Made a couple of comments here and there.

My Yahoo Messenger and MSN have been very eerily silent... and my mind is idling again. Before I become nuts and go to Tanjung Rambutan, I picked up the phone and called home.

"Hi, I'm going home for lunch." - I told dad.

"Why? Anything wrong?"

"No... today holiday what."

"Huh? Oh, you also holiday ah..."

OK... so i'm gonna take a shower now, then go to wherever I'm supposed to go and have lunch with my parents and cousins.

If only I were a computer...

Friday, October 15, 2010

It is Interest...Again

I was surfing aimlessly a few minutes ago, and stumbled across a video clip in The Star Online. I wasn't interested in the girl in the video, but I was more interested in how she got to where she is now. And I discovered that luck (again) plays a role. She was a college student, but dropped the psychology course she took, and focused on her interest - photography. The money allocated for her studies were invested in getting a DSLR - and it's a Canon (i'm not advertising for this company, ok). She began shooting non-stop over 2 years, and people noticed her work.. and it all started from there.

Why am I attracted to this video? It's not because of the 19-year-old teen, but it's the fact that she dared to defy her initial ambition, drop everything related studies, and pursue her interest... and it paid off. They are bold.... very bold indeed.

Moral of the Story: If you've an interest, pursue it. Unless you're a book worm, forget about getting that paper qualification which is not related to your interest. Nowadays, having tertiary qualification doesn't guarantee you a job.

The Middle Finger

Every morning when I wake up, I try bloody hard to make my day look good. However, it's easier said than done. Forcing as much as I can to be OK, my mind suddenly goes on auto pilot, takes over and ruins half the day. I just don't know how other singles or "singles" do it - but then, maybe they're in a different position.

You know the feeling? You wanna get on with life - that's what people have been telling you, and that's what you really want to do - but each time you thought that you're on the road to freedom, it hits a snag, you pull back and get into a depression all over again.

Sometimes, I am successful in handling my emotions. I come to office feeling euphoric, that nothing could stop me from feeling great, and that things will be fine today. Well, it always doesn't last long. I don't know why. People have advised me to join this and that to help me get back on my feet; well, I did join this and that, but maybe I've not been commtted enough. Perhaps it has something to do with my level of stress the day before and will continue to increase. Who says teaching is "an easy job" just because we have "nothing much to do", "get to go home early" and have "many holidays"? Fuck you, if you have this notion. We have other unseen and unappreciated duties on our plate besides moulding teens into useful and knowledgeable citizens.

Now, if I add work-related stress to my own personal stress, what do I get? A total wreck!! If not for my logic and some supportive "Samaritans", I'd have dug my own grave and be buried long ago; it's because of logic that I'm still holding on till today. Ironically, this logic is not helping me to make good, solid decisions. So I end up fumbling, and falling down real hard over and over again. It's hard for me to understand how some people's lives appear to be cut out nicely for them - perhaps it's their "karma", or God bless them more - I donno. Yeah, yeah... I know on the surface things look good for them, but who knows what problems they have, eh? You look at them... wah, so "easy" life; they get what they want. Don't ask also sometimes they get, and you wanna be like them, but you know it's stupid because you can't be them, let alone be like them. You're just who you are; so just live with whatever meagre luck you have been blessed with. I'm not looking at materialistic stuff - that's just not me. I don't wish for the latest gadgets for Christmas or a big win in Magnum. I'm just trying to look for ways to be happy... is that too much to ask? How do I tell my brain to stop fucking things up, and let me live a cheerful and contented person like many of you out there?

So, here comes the big question. What am I gonna do to make things better for me?

Answer: ... just continue PRAYING and BELIEVING in the power of prayer that I will never have to go through this immense internal suffering. I just wanna be FREE from the shackles of this trauma, and be the normal person that I used to be a long time ago. Don't be fooled; praying alone isn't enough. God won't come down to Earth and rescue me. I have to DO something to make it work.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Dark Side of 10-10-10

Only two days ago, some of us were celebrating Triple Ten Day. However, on that very same day, others were mourning the death of their loved ones. It has been the talk of the entire nation. See these pix:

Well, I don't know what to say about this accident. It's a national disaster. What could have caused such a disastrous accident that killed so many lives? The bus was torn apart in the mishap! So were some of the cars! There were plenty of gory scenes there. May their souls rest in peace.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Triple Ten

Tomorrow, 10 Oct. 2010 is Triple Ten Day. It occurs once every 100 years. What's the significance of this day? Absolutely nothing besides the fact that the date contains three 10's. However, to many humans on this planet, Triple Ten Day calls for a celebration. I bet at Padang Merdeka or some other open areas or club houses, people are all ready with their party hats and beer bottles to welcome this day, which is like 3 hours from now.

What's gonna happen on this day? Couples will tie the knot because the date is unique (forget about geomancy or looking at "good" dates for marriage), and you'll never forget your wedding anniversary. Cool. Not only that, many couples would force childbirth, not knowing the effects it has on the newborn. 

What am I gonna do? Err... nothing. I'll still go to church, I'll still be around for sure.

"Go la and enjoy the celebration!" - whatever for? Not now... not just yet. But to those who will join the party tonight, have fun and remain sober. Don't forget to pray for those who are unable to celebrate due to unforeseen circumstances.

UPDATE: Acccording to a renown Feng Shui master, Triple Ten Day is good only for those born in the Year of the Snake... and I know someone who's born in this year. So, God Bless You, and all of us today.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Never Stop Loving You

I was driving to work early this morning, and I heard the song entitled "Never Gonna Stop Loving You" - and I started pondering the lyrics - hey, am I not supposed to be driving? In reality, if you have this kind of woman who sticks with you no matter what (as long as you have space to move), you're truly blessed. But in reality, this doesn't happen to everyone. I also wonder why the tune of the song is so lively and cheerful... maybe it's telling us not to be sad when someone dumps you... maybe the lyricist is plain lousy. No matter what, just ignore the video clip which I find rather annoying - but listen to the song - as I see not much of a link between the clip and the song but it certainly makes a good workout song.

Never Gonna Stop Me From Loving You
(Sonia Evans)

Even when you're home
You won't pick up your phone
And take my call
When I see you on the street
You stare down at your feet
You won't talk at all

If only you would see me
One more time and maybe
Someday, you will find
That you could really love me
You could really need me
Maybe you could change your mind

But you'll never stop me from loving you
It doesn't really matter
what you put me through
You'll never stop me from loving you

When I know that you're alone
I wander to your home
And catch a glimpse or two
It seems that all the time
The thought is on my mind
Of being with you

The times I've tried to see you
You know I would meet you
Any time, night or day
But still you just refuse
And no matter what you do
I'll never let you get away

But you'll never stop me from loving you
It doesn't really matter
what you put me through
You'll never stop me from loving you

Oh, woh, you'll never stop
me from loving you
Wherever you gon' go, I will follow you
You'll never stop me from loving you

Oh, woh, oh, woh
Never stop
Never stop me
Oh, oh, oh woh, oh woh
Never stop
Never stop me

If only you would see me
One more time and maybe
Someday you will find
That you could really love me
You could really need me
Maybe you could change your mind

But you'll never stop me from loving you
It doesn't really matter
what you put me through
You'll never stop me from loving you

Oh, woh, you'll never stop
me from loving you
Wherever you gon' go I will follow you
You'll never stop me from loving you

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Greatest Love of All

We hear of child abuse, babies being abandoned, but what we don't know is that, these kids are potential hidden jewels of this ailing world of ours. They can be the ones who would transform this world to a better place for all. Treat them well, and let them lead the way... listen. This song gives me goose pimples. It's powerful, it's beautiful. If you can't receive love, you can surely give some, and I'm certain you have some to give.

I therefore appeal to parents and future parents to be mindful of the message in this song. You don't have to spoil your child, but be firm. You may not be able to have your own child for whatever reasons, but your actions would touch the heart of every child you meet. This, in itself, is very satisfying.. and I believe, one day, I will achieve that satisfaction... you will too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I Have a Vision...

About a fortnight ago, I was with a friend. This meeting opened my eyes about my own life. She has spent many years of her life helping children from all over the world through World Vision, an organisation that helps rural communities that are in the poverty level, so that these communities would eventually be self-sufficient and be economically better.

I heard of this organisation years ago but didn't bother much about that, though I was kind of keen to participate. But after seeing photos that my friend had taken, I made that decision to be part of this organisation. I decided to sponsor a child so that he/she would get good education, health, love and everything else basic that children ought to have. This is my vision. I didn't know what to expect, and whose child I'll be sponsoring. I did what my instinct told me to do because I wanted to help these poor people. For each child, sponsors donate RM50 (or more) monthly to provide them with basic education, health care and amenities which their villages and community need. I paid my first month's installment, and I waited.

Today, I got a letter from World Vision Malaysia. In this letter, there is a portrait photo of a little boy, complete with his profile which includes basic family background information. His name - Watthanasin, he's 9 years old, and studies in Grade 2. He lives in an agricultural province in Thailand. When I saw his photo, I fell in love with him - he's cute, and looks shy.  World Vision will give me an annual update on his progress with an updated photo. My dream is to see him one of these days...

Now, I have a "son", albeit temporarily. Watthanasin will never be my own child, I'll never get to hold his hand and walk him to school, we'll never get to meet every day or even every month, and I can never bring him home as he has his own family; nevertheless, I'll still love him. Yeah, I'm glad that now I've a "son" whom I'm sponsoring till he's old enough to be independent - perhaps in 6-7 years' time, or till his community doesn't need my sponsorship anymore. If I've the time and cash to spare, I want to have more "children" to help them lead a good life.

I guess life is not about more making money, being materialistic, or pursuing the highest qualifications. It's about helping others live a normal, good life, too. I pray to God that by helping Watthanasin and hopefully others (God willing), I will have a transformed life. I don't know what awaits me.

I do know that now I have a small responsibility. My responsibility is to remember my vision of helping Watthanasin grow; my responsibility is to stay in touch with my "son" by snail mail which will be delivered to him via World Vision Thailand.

NOTE: For security and privacy reasons, I can't publish the photo of this child, or reveal the exact location.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Here's Walter

This is one good video clip. It really is a creative use of the English language that makes people laugh. If you've seen it, then watch again :)


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Takda Anak Susah, Ada Pun Susah

Once we arrive at a certain age, our parents and relatives will ask that dreaded question:

"So, when are you going to settle down? You're not young anymore you know?"

Fine, then we happily got married (except yours truly), we are asked another dreaded question:

"Time to start a family, la. The older you get, the more difficult to conceive..."

OK, fine. We finally have children. As if that's not enough, there's more to come. This time, it's the complaints. My nephew is now 2-years-old, and his sleeping pattern is inconsistent. Often, when my mother invites my brother to this house for dinner, they'll be late because they don't want to disturb the sleeping child or else that boy would create a big fuss and show tantrums. And each time there's such an invitation, I'd hear this in the kitchen:

"Every time so late. Why can't they just get the kid into the car and come (sleeping or not)?" - mom's also afraid that the food would be cold by the time they arrive. I told her that it won't get cold so quickly. When mom makes noise, dad would do the same. So he actually said this:

"Next time, no need to invite them. Wait for the kid to be older."

It's annoying. It's the same old story each freaking week! Today, I just couldn't tolerate the same comments, so I had to open my mouth and say something to my parents:

"Look, you want a grandchild, now you've got it... it's up to them how they wanna bring up their kid. ... different kids are brought up in different ways" - it is true. No two children are brought up the same way. My siblings and I all have different characters, not only because of genetics, but it's environment, too. I may have no right to speak because I'm not a parent, yet I'm concerned about the unnecessary family tension.

I even added:

"When their daughter is born later, there could be more "problems"... you wait and see." - I certainly anticipate that if having one kid causes noise in THIS house, having another one would be worse. My sister-in-law is gonna give birth end of this year.

I feel sorry for my brother and my sister-in-law. Invited to dinner, but have to face the brunt of people who dislike late-comers, and want things their way. In a way, I'm a bad person blogging about this, but I still do it because I'm sad.

Sigh, I just don't know why this happens. And I wonder if it's the same in all families. I guess it's just the norm... "Nah, they just say things like that, but they don't mean it." - often, out of anger, we lash things out, not knowing that others are listening, and they won't know if what you have said was what you really meant.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Went but Not Conquered

Today's a Saturday. I woke up later than usual - 8:04 AM - yes, later. I guess all the exhaustion of work has taken its toll because by 5:00PM, i'd already be half asleep! Yes, indeed mental exhaustion. The sun was shining brightly, and I eagerly wanted to get my chores done. Did some laundry, then went to breakfast.

At my regular breakfast outlet, I noticed a familiar car parked in a spot. I checked the registration plate - yup, I know that car. I didn't want to stop, so I made a detour and went elsewhere. I knew what I wanted to eat today, but the other shops were FULL or half-full of customers - I dislike crowds. So I returned to the first outlet and checked to see if the car was still there. It wasn't there anymore.

I know I'm gonna see that car or its passengers again some time in future. I also know I can't be avoiding this forever. When it happens again, I've to put on a bold front, put on a smile, or gather enough courage to wave at them and just sit far away because although I know them, I have become their enemy #1.

So, I ate, came home and did a bit of vacuuming. I noticed hairline cracks appearing on the walls... if only someone could call and talk to me.

But then... maybe i've to look for someone to talk to.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Party that Wasn't

Last night, my parents and I were invited to a cousin's house for a house-warming dinner. It was a small yet nice house - it was a cozy home. I was looking forward to it until more people came in, and they started talking. I felt ... alone because previously, each time I attended a dinner or a function, I was accompanied by my ex-wife. Throughout the dinner, though I have seen many of them before, I remained silent and sat in a corner. Much later, I gathered the courage and managed to talk to another cousin of mine for a while.

Then the elderly aunts and my dad started talking about the family tree. They were curious how we are all related. One of them, Aunt Ruby, who knows my family and I well started taking notes and drawing the family tree. I was curious so I got to the table and watched. She was drawing up my family tree. She asked for my name, and I gave it to her.

"Eh, what's your wife's name? ..." she asked. She knows that I'm divorced. Dad protested: "No need!!" but she insisted that her name should still be in there. Not knowing what to do, I just gave the name to Aunt Ruby, though I felt awkward. Dad still protested but kept quiet after that.

Then a younger cousin whom we have never met started taking photos so that she knows who her relatives are. She called every one she knew last night, who is related to her.

She called my parents and I for a snapshot. "Eh! Your wife?"

I just said: "No", and mom also said: "No wife"...

I couldn't wait for the party to end. It was like waiting for all eternity for the party to end, though eventually I did talk to Aunt Ruby who's talkative as usual.

You know, people are usually so excited about attending gatherings and parties because they know it's gonna be plenty of fun and socialising. I wonder... when am I going to be able to attend parties without feeling alone again. The food was undeniably tasty, better than the ones I ate at some of the wedding dinners I had attended... so the food was the only thing that I looked forward to last night.

A friend whom I recently met said that when she lost her fiance long ago, it took her four years to pick her life up again; it was too traumatic. Her statement freaked me out. Four years is a very long time to suffer, and I wonder if I'd be in the same boat. It's easy for others to tell me ... "Move on, forget about the past" ... but they're not in my situation. They have never felt what it is like to lose someone and stay alone. Even some friends would stay away from us because they don't want to be dragged into sadness... in the end, you have to fight your own battle - I have to do that.

Life is unfair... really unfair. But that's life. It's also just luck and karma that things like this happen. Those who don't believe in karma would say that it's God's work; He has plans for me. No matter what, the pain will continue to linger.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

When is My Turn?

When I browse blogs, I notice that many parents write about their children. You could actually follow their personal development on a regular basis, and how these parents handle situations. In each of these blogs, I see descriptions, photos and even video clips of the happiness that a child brings to the parents.

When I found my ex-classmates whom I've not seen in over 30 years on Facebook, I chatted with them, and they proudly say that they've kids - one even has six of them - and they've a family photo album on display. When they asked me "What about you? How many kids?", I knew what I had to reply. Yeah, of course I've another ex-classmate who's also in the same boat as I am, and there are thousands who live a joyful single life till the end of time, but that's not the focus here.

When I see my brother carrying his child, I see love, peace and joy. I would certainly like to carry my nephew each day but I can't, for he is not my child. It would be a joy to see your child turn, crawl, walk and ultimately talk at different stages of their lives. It is euphoric to hear the first babble and then the call for mommy and daddy.

Each day,  I have a great dream that one day - one fine day - I'll be a father and experience fatherhood like the rest of you. I don't know if I'll be a good father - I've lost a chance to be one. I don't have a clue if I'll ever get a second chance. Maybe better not because I've a bad temperament, and I'm impatient.

When is my turn? Don't ask because there's no answer; don't expect because it is gonna hurt... Only God knows.

But to all parents - new or experienced - out there, be thankful that you have a bundle of joy that was given to you by the Almighty. It doesn't matter if they're michievous, very naughty or throw tantrums every second. That is your gift. After all, they're kids - white sheets of cloth ready for you to paint pictures on them. Educate and treat them with kindness, respect and love; they will reciprocate. Eventually, the picture you get would be a very pretty and memorable one.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Representation of a Plant

I was in the garden this morning. The weather was sunny, and a plant caught my eye. I grabbed my camera and took a close-up shot with it. Well, I used the "Live View" mode and manual focus to capture this interesting shot which I think represents my present life.

Close-up but not close enough. Next time, I'll try using macro.

You see the cute little buds growing? They represent me, my family and others around me. Coincidentally, there are three leaves, too. Each of us will grow, experience new things and then die - just like the plants and any other living beings. Like the three buds on this plant greeting a new day, all of us have something new to experience; in my case, I've to start a new life and hopefully bloom into something nice. With constant water, sunshine, fertilizers and care, I'm sure the buds would grow well. And I will too, with regular positive encouragement, smiles, words of wisdom and love.

We will all grow old, and I do hope that before I'm too old, I'll see new buds again.

"The new beginning...."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Me, the Writer

I love to write. I've written articles to newspaper editors, poems and a real life story which appeared in the Reader's Digest about 8-10 years ago - I was paid US$500 for that. I'm not a good writer; I don't have enough flair for writing a full-blown article or a short story.

Recently, a colleague coaxed me into writing an article in a commemorative magazine for the Peranakan Association of Melaka (PPCM). I was rather reluctant initially as I knew it's gonna take time, but I love sharing what I know about my peranakan culture with others, so when the Secretary of the association approached me one day, I agreed. I was told to write two pages.

Last night, at the 110th Anniversary dinner, the magazine was sold to guests. Writers were also given a token of appreciation for their contribution to the magazine. Here's what was published:

Front of the commemorative magazine

The 2nd and 3rd page of the article

Guess what? I was also given a special token in the form of cash! That was a real surprise to me. This token was presented by the President of the Melaka PPCM. I walked up proudly on stage to receive this gift. I felt like an important person for a fleeting moment under bright lights and with two cameras facing me. It's a darn waste that I didn't bring my camera or else I could blog about the dinner.

"So, you're Kevin, eh? I've heard a lot about you." the president said as he gave a broad smile and shook my hand. Gosh, I really don't know what people have been telling him about me - I hope it's good, or maybe he was just exaggerating, I don't know. My father is a far more prominent person; I've always remained low profile.

"Come more often to the club," he added just before I left. Well PPCM has a club where members entertain themselves with songs, dance and games. Honestly, I don't go there because it's always at night, and I'm not very sociable. Maybe when I retire, I'll think of joining them.

For now, I've to work... and maybe some day continue writing heavier stuff - romance novels, sex tips etc.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Now I Know Who They Were

I've never thought I'd do this, but I did it yesterday. My parents wanted to visit a relative, and I took this opportunity to bring my camera along so that I could take shots of days gone by. I've been to her extra long colonial house since I was a little kid, and I've been intrigue by some of the photos I saw hanging on the plastered walls. The condition of the black and white photos have not changed a bit. I got to know that those are photos of my ancestors, whose relationship to me and names I never knew - or probably have forgotten - till a couple of days ago. Here are the photos:
Great Grandfather
Mr Chua Lip Tay

Great Grandmother
Mrs Ong Him Neo
Great-Great Grandmother
Mrs Lim Heng Neo
Grand Uncles
You'll see a bit of reflection on each photo as I dare not climb a chair or take them down in case something unfortunate happens. These are some of my relative's personal memorabilia not to be seen elsewhere. The photo of my grand uncles was originally taken in 1933 during the Wangkang Festival. Since there was no colour film at that time, each photo was hand-coloured. That's just amazing.
Well, I'm proud to say that I now know who my ancestors are though I still don't know what they did or how they had contributed to the Peranakans or Straits-born community. Maybe one day, I'll find out... yeah, one day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm on a Diet with a Difference

OK, I've to admit it. I'm concerned about my weight - very concerned. Therefore, I'm going on a diet BUT with a difference. I need to stuff myself with food because I'm LOSING weight. Well, the amount of weight loss isn't too great but I'm having trouble putting on my pants because it keeps falling off even with a belt, and there's nothing nice to see behind the pants... I think I need to add between 5-10kg to my current weight to look nice.... hey, wait! Am I vain? No, I'm not. Men wanna look nice too.

I was very scrawny as a teen. When I started work, I put on a bit of weight, but when I came back to Malacca, I lost those hard-earned pounds. It took me years just to gain 4kg!!! Then I got married, and in the three years of marriage, I put on more weight, and the scale almost hit 70kg. from a mere 59kg, which is good to me. That didn't last long, though. Almost immediately after the divorce, I failed to maintain weight. It kept sliding downward. It has been 8 months since it happened, and I'm now down to 64kg. My height is 175 cm., and if the calculation is correct, the weight is still within the normal range.

To some of you, this little weight loss is absolutely nothing to be anxious about (I hope), and I know that stuffing myself with junk food and fast food is not a good way to increase weight. My appetite has been good; so has my ability to sleep. I don't know if it is my work, lack of happiness or something else that has been stopping me from gaining weight again.

I will never be overly depressed with this weight loss, yet I know if it keeps dropping, something must be wrong. Perhaps I need a change of diet... and a wife to cook nutritious home-cooked food for me. Maybe I should just go work in a restaurant instead of teaching. I want to add a little more flesh.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Long Holiday...what to do ah?

The office was deserted today as many Muslim employees have started their Aidil Fitri leave. So I took the opportunity to sneak out of the office early - I hope my boss isn't reading this. I'm not working for the next TEN days - that's right... 10 days of holidays partially because we were forced to take 3 days off. The rest are special holidays and weekends. I'll start work on ... on.... err... well, who cares? I can't remember but I know it's a Monday. So what am I gonna do?

I don't know. Perhaps I'll continue blogging regularly for 10 days, or rejuvenate my interest in photography. My poor Canon DSLR has been gathering dust in the cupboard for months already because I've been busy with classes, and I leave it at my mom's place most of the time... sigh. What a bloody waste of money; there are people who want one, yet they couldn't afford to own one.

How about travelling? Nah, I don't travel alone. It's no fun travelling without someone you love. Somehow, I'm not a lone traveller.

So what am I gonna do for 10 days? If I blog about it, that means I'm doing something; if I don't, that means I'll spend a lot of time sleeping and being a couch potato.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What to Do?

Last night, I prayed for a sunny morning as I wanted to cut the grass. It had been raining; the weather has been unpredictable in recent months. This morning, the sky appeared gloomy but God answered my prayers, the sun shone brightly by 8:00 AM as I was having breakfast at the mamak stall eating my favourite roti canai and drinking fresh cow's milk.

I didn't waste my time getting the grass cutter. As I was cutting the grass, I saw my neighbour. We exchanged greetings.

"Good morning, holiday ah?", the neighbour asked.

"No, I'm on leave - yesterday and today."

"Your wife working?", he said with a smile. He and my ex-wife are colleagues but in different faculties.

I sheepishly replied, "We're separated already."

My neighbour was stumped. "What do you mean separated?"

"We're divorced." Short and straight to the point.

"Ah?? What happened??" he exclaimed. Can't blame his ignorance as he's seldom at home till lately.

I shrugged my shoulders. What more could I answer?

"But... her parents came the other day right?" - he was still in a state of disbelief.

"If recently, those were my parents. If it's long ago, probably hers."

"So now you stay alone?" he asked. Yes, I don't have another woman in my life.

He shook his head. "So sorry..." - and there was a pause. "Sad la," he countinued as he looked at me. "Nowadays, things are different..."

I looked at him. "Yeah..." that's all I could utter. Then he continued with his work. As he turned around, I heard him repeat to himself, "Sad la".

I continued cutting my grass thinking of our conversation.  Each time someone asks me "What happened?" I just could not respond as I'm partially to be blamed too. As the blade of the machine rotated, I kept asking myself why on earth this is happening to me.

After the divorce, I live alone - except on weekends - while my ex-wife lives with her parents every single day about 300 meters away. Other neighbours could testify that I don't bring women home. Strangers have eyes to see that each time I go out, I'm alone unless a colleague wants to have lunch or dinner with me, which very rarely happens. Go ask any pub owner and see if they've ever seen me before. I'm made to look like the state's No.1 criminal... well, maybe I'm a criminal in the making - damn me.

I'm trying to be happy but each time someone asks that question, I'll reminisce and feel sad. I've lost a wife,  I only have me. Each day I pray that I've enough strength to live on, and live with the fact that there will still be questions like "What happened" and "Do you still keep in touch with her?" till it's time to leave this world; it doesn't matter if I remarry or not.

I finished cutting the grass in an hour or so.

"Hello!" the neighbour called again.

He handed me some mangoes. He plants a mango tree in his garden.  He is an Indian, and to the Hindus, mango leaves are hung above the door frame for blessings. I guess he felt sad for me but grateful that he has a family. Perhaps this kind gift also symbolises blessings that Mr. Siva, my neighbour, is passing on to me.

Thanks, Mr Siva. I need all the blessings I can get... and may God bless you and your family too.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Transformers 3 in Production!

I love three types of movies - science fiction (sci-fi), comedy and animated. One of my favourite movies is Transformers. I've watched both series, and you know what? Transformers 3 is now in production, and is expected to be released in July 2011 (seriously), and in 3D. There are lots of fake trailers out there, but they're all very creative. I wonder why Michael Bay doesn't sue YouTube? Well, it's alright - it's for everyone's entertainment I guess :)

Here's a sneak preview of some of the vehicles taken by a bystander who had been waiting for the cars to appear.

This is REAL footage (taken by a bystander)

This is the FAKE but creative trailer

The official trailer is not out yet.

New vehicles, new transformation, new enemies - and hopefully more exciting than the previous ones. In terms of storyline, well ... I wouldn't expect anything to change. It would just be good against evil, and rescueing a skimpily clothed damsel in distress.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bye-bye Students

Do you remember the time when you had a class party at the end of the year to celebrate the completion of you studies, and to move on to the next level? Well, I completed my school years long, long ago. However, today is my last day TEACHING my present students in this campus. After 13 weeks of sweat and challenges, I can finally raise my hand in jubilation that I've taught them in the best way I could.

I thanked my students for being good, and I apologised to them if I've said or done anything wrong. Well, they truly appreciated my gesture. In fact, they were sad to see me leave. I told them I'm not coming back, which is true, because I have been on loan for this semester. I shall be based in Malacca again next semester onward.

"Teacher, am I good?" one student asked.

"No, you're sometimes naughty, sometimes bad." -  I said with a little smile. My international students didn't know what "naughty" meant - poor kids. I must've been a bad teacher.

"Teacher, I like you." - this kid said .. and he has always been the noisiest one in class. Well, that's sweet, thanks. We're talking about 18-19 year old kids who have come from another country to study here. The other group of students are mostly adults from age 19-40 years old, many doing their postgraduate studies.

Surprisingly, I've remained rather calm throughout the 13 weeks despite the teenage students' antics and mischief. With the exception of one or two loud outbursts, things went very well.

Am I gonna miss them? Sigh... yeah I will, but I'm not coming back here. It's just too tiring.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Early Festive Invitation

It is now Ramadhan - the fasting month, and Muslims will celebrate Hari Raya Aidil Fitri at the end of the month. With just over a week away, the mood has already started. Festive songs are played in the administrative office, and paraphernalias linked to this festival have started to appear in towns.

This morning, a cleaner came into my office. She normally comes with another cleaner, and she has always been the quiet and sultry one. However, this morning was different.  She came in first, and as she was sweeping the floor, she said with a cheer: "Raya bawak rumah eh, cikgu? (Come to my house on Hari Raya, teacher)" - I asked her where she lives and so on.  

It was a pleasant surprise to receive this invitation. I doubt I'll go to the cleaner's house as I'm generally a shy person and I would totally stay away from strangers. Nevertheless, her invitation was meaningful to me. Malaysians are generally very hospitable.

I guess ... there's no place like home - with warts and all.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Get a Camera lah

I have an aunt who loves to travel, but then all her travels are not documented, so only she knows what she has seen and experienced. She's now on a 12-day cruise to Scandinavia, and I bet when she returns she'd just brag that it's a beautiful place, the weather is great, the cruise liner is very huge and so on. Where's the evidence? None. She doesn't have a camera, depending on others to capture good moments on her behalf.

Nowadays, taking photos is so easy. It has never been easier than just point and click, and you don't even need to figure out what film to buy. It's too bad that some people believe that taking photos is just a waste of resources. "Nah, I don't know how to take photos" or "I don't like taking photos."

Somehow, people fail to see the value of taking personal snapshots of events and experiences to be shared with friends, members of family and future generations. I had a small debate with mom last night; I told her that it is important to record evidences of the past for posterity. Without photos, our children and grandchildren and later generations don't have a clue what we went through. Without photos, my brother wouldn't know what his grandfather looked like, and my niece and nephew don't know what their great-grandparents looked like.

My late grandparents' wedding photo taken
circa mid-1930s
The photo above was recaptured using my DSLR, and edited for clarity. At least now, my family (and bloggers) know what traditional Straits-born (peranakan) wedding looks like 70 years ago. My late grandfather wore modern wedding attire rather than the traditional one - nobody knows why.

Therefore, go get yourself a camera, shoot memorable moments. Share those photos with your loved ones. Don't be selfish and keep those memories to yourself. And don't make excuses that taking photo is so difficult, or toting a small camera is very inconvenient. :-) 

p/s: This is not a paid post, in case you're wondering.