Wednesday, 15 December 2010

December 2010

I feel apprehensive yet I anticipate year-end. It will be the end of 2010 and will be the dawn of a new year for 2011 in a couple of weeks. So much happened and yet so little happened, it depends on the way you look at things.

Whatever it is, life goes on, and whatever unhappiness should pass, bearing in mind that whatever blessings and happiness we're enjoying now may soon pass too, so vigilance is the key.

Happy New Year 2011 and have a good year ahead!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Infertility/Childlessness - Good Icebreaker in Conversations

I am not sure about the rest of the world but here in Malaysia or rather, South East Asia, people are very concerned and helpful about your well-being, which has its advantages and disadvantages.

Asian Norm?
From simple questions of "Have you eaten?" to "Why are you not married/a parent/a grandparent yet?".. Asian culture is a funny one if compared to the other cultures in the rest of the world.

Bonding with Strangers
For me, I find that my so-called 'infertility' which is due to my state of childlessness made very interesting topic of conversation that serves me well as a good 'icebreaker' when talking to virtual strangers.

First question: Are you married? You answer yes.. which leads to the
Second question(s): How many years are you married? Do you have children? You answer no.. then you will be offered 'help' and advice, etc, etc, all in the name of goodwill and 'concern'.

At first I was baffled. Being married for three years plus, along the way, my state of childlessness had brought attention to myself in social gatherings as well as among acquaintances and even with strangers! From massages to pressing a certain spot on your ankle regularly, to eating certain 'recipes' or drinking a certain 'concoctions' to acupuncture and the medical intervention of IUI and tests and all.. I've heard them from kind souls I've met and heck, I even tried some of them! Now I'm more amused than baffled, I have to admit I am entertained by the information they shared with me.

Example 1: Works as Good Icebreaker with Strangers
I was at this wedding dinner in 2009.. the only person I knew in the whole place was my husband who was seated next to me and the bride. Then at my table, a nice lady with a toddler and her husband started a conversation with me: Q: How long have you been married? I answered two years plus (that was a year ago).. then she gave me her secret remedy on how to conceive.. which worked for her, pointing to her baby girl (already a toddler). It was using (consuming) some herbal remedy which is easily available and sold commercially.. what the Malays call "jamu". And I've not even met this lady prior to this!

Example 2: Acquaintances and Friends/Relatives Bonding Topic
With my relatives that I only see a few times every year.. they give you every advice they heard from someone or their ancestors passed down to their mother-in-laws and to them.. etc.etc. My boss' wife, in a social gathering even shared her remedy of getting pregnant with me whom she had only met for less than one hour!

Example 3: You become the center of attention
After three years, I can say that I'm kinda used to the 'attention'. People may be envious if you are happy and seem to have everything. However, human nature is compassionate.. so if you seem to be lacking something, in my case, I am lacking a child in my marriage.. their compassionate nature emerged (and they pity me hence try to 'help') and instead of feeling irritated like I used to, I felt grateful for the attention and they are genuinely concerned, I can see that.

Just recently, Nov 18, 2010 -- I was waiting at the registration area at a specialist hospital for my gynae appointment. I was seated next to a Sikh (Punjabi) couple, who look like they are in their 70s (I confirmed this later when I took a peep at the lady's identification card which was visible). This nice lady and I struck a conversation. Here is how it went:

Q: Which doctor are you seeing?
A: A gynae .. (I gave her the doctor's name). And which doctor are you seeing?

Q: (She told me she's seeing a Sikh doctor for her knee pain) Are you pregnant? (since I'm seeing a gynae)
A: No, no, I'm trying to. (at this point in life, I am no longer offended by that question)

Q: Oh.. how long have you been married?
A: Three years plus.

Q: You know there is this good doctor, *place* *name*.. etc.etc. Do you know the place? (then she asked her husband to give me detailed directions to the doctor's place)
A: Oh.. thank you so much. I'll consider it. (I am rather touched she's so helpful)

Q: Does your husband have a problem as well? Was he checked? (then she told me how her husband had problem with lower sperm count and how they overcame it)
A: Oh, really? How do you increase it?

At this point, she asked her husband to tell me the supplement he took to increase his count back when they were unable to conceive for the first three years of their marriage. From the conversation, I know which area she's staying at, how many children she has, two girls and two boys, all are adults, both daughters are married, both daughters have two children each, her sons are both unmarried... and all her children are overseas. Two of her children are due for a visit in December. And I knew she didn't have her first child till the fourth year of her marriage.

How do I know all that? Those are personal details and information. Yeah, besides self-praise that I am able to strike conversation with people easily (that's why I opted to teach Public Relations and communication)... it is the grace of my state of childlessness that somehow bring people around and made them feel closer to me. So that is a blessing in disguise, no?

For the record, the supplement the elderly Sikh man took (on doctor's advice) is rich in Vitamin E - Wheatgerm oil. Can't locate it in the two pharmacies I walked into last night though. Vitamin E is known to promote fertility and vitality. So that has some basis!

It's end of 2010 -- we'll see how long it takes for me to have my own child.. trying very hard not to try too hard so it can happen naturally! Found that the harder you try, the more it won't happen. I keep telling myself: Relax, Sue! :-)

In the meanwhile, I do relish in the interest people take in my state of being a childless wife. They make great conversations! I'll just enjoy the talk till then.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010


It's November already and to fulfill my goal to make my blog at least a monthly updated blog, here's an entry to say Happy November!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Reflections on Turning 30

I'm turning 30 tomorrow, 2nd Oct 2010.

At first I feel that it will be just like any other past birthdays.. heck, for the rest of the world (except maybe my loved ones who are close to me) it is just another day in the calendar.

However, as the day drew near, especially in the past one week, I reflected on my life, and instead of feeling happy and contented, I became disturbed and yearning for all that I hoped to achieve and gain by the time I turn 30, but will never make it in time.

Hence, to put things in perspective, I am jotting down "Things I hope to do/get by 30 but I'm going to be late":

1. To climb up to Mount Kinabalu's Low's Peak (the highest peak founded by someone named Low, ironic eh?) -- okay.. I've been up to mid-mountain via a vehicle to snap pictures but that's it. Always told myself.. one of these days.. and before I know it, I'm already 30.

2. To at least start my PhD (doctorate degree).. okay, scrap the proposals for doctorate thesis, I am no where near starting my PhD, not with the change of career and direction in the past 3 years.. so nope.. maybe I should move the gauge to age 40.

3. To return to journalism/being a journalist - when I left full-time news desk journalism in 2005, I told myself I may return cos that is my first passion, writing and being a journalist. Now, I'm a lecturer.. but far from teaching journalism, I'm teaching marketing communication and Public Relations related stuff instead as I branched out to take Masters Corporate Communication in attempt to steer my career options (which is successful I guess). Talk about being off-tangent!

4. To return to Kuching, Sarawak, my hometown - when I left Sarawak in early 2004 to take up a job offer as a journalist in Kuala Lumpur (spurning a psychotic suitor in doing so.. but I was getting nearer to my future husband back then) -- I told everyone I will be back before they know it and take up my old job after I'm tired with the metropolitan city stress and all... 6 years on.. and coming to 30.. I think that is not going to happen anytime soon. My family has relocated to my current city.. so what's the point of going back to an empty family holiday home full time? Fate changes via our action.. so never say never.

5. To have my own child/children
- By now, completed our 3rd year of marriage and entering our 4th year, you'd have guessed the many well-meaning questions.. "when are you gonna add on to your family, when are you gonna have a baby", or even the more direct one: "Why aren't you pregnant yet?" -- I have learned to smile and say, I wish.. and we're trying hard, the baby just won't come.. they are usually stumped by that. Our childless state is NOT by choice.. I guess the timing isn't right? Experienced a very emotional and painful episode on 09/09/2007 -- losing hope and losing a child is the worst and lowest point in my life so far, and yes, I'm still grieving but not giving up hope. Wish us luck and strength to get through this.

However, on a positive note I think I should add: "Things that I do have by 30, and glad I did", which should correspond with the above negative statements of regret:

1. I was a true 'go-getter' -- Seize the Day! - Even though I did not climb up to the Peak of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia, I've climbed up significantly in my young adult life and have actually tried all the jobs I ever wanted to do (hence my facebook profile saying I've had too many ex-bosses to last me a lifetime).
Yeah.. by the time I came to my current job and they looked at my CV (resume), I was already jaded and have had enough. There isn't any regrets in particular in my career choice, from each place I joined (even for the shortest time), I found at least one good friend.
I think it's fate's way to link my affinity with my ex-colleagues, some of whom became my very close friends and confidantes. Love you all. I truly love my seize-the-day-spirit (which has toned down a bit now).. cos I was daring enough to make changes that most wouldn't. I feel that I've 'truly lived' my life before settling down for a quieter one. :-) No regrets.

2. I got my priorities right and I'm proud of it. Enough said. And of course, I am proud of my mature decision to invest my time and effort in my family and personal relationships instead of using that same time for something else.. PhD can always wait, but not people. Having lost my beloved grandpa in 2007 (Gosh, how I miss him!) I treasure my time with my family members even more than ever. You never know for sure what tomorrow will bring, we may be gone like a poof of the wind.. so cherish your loved ones today.

3. I loved my jobs and love my current job too - Yeah, journalism was my first love, I got published when I was 10, if I remember correctly, but sadly didn't keep that magazine.. but as I age, I find that my go-getter spirit brought me places I never imagined before and sometimes to situations I'd never dreamed myself being into, with positions and jobs I never anticipated.. I love every moment of it, sweet and bitter.. and I consciously choose to be in my current job, which I enjoy doing.. so I guess I'm blessed. :-)

4. I love Kuala Lumpur - Yes, Kuching will always be my hometown(city) and Sarawak will always be my homestate.. but now I consider Kuala Lumpur my home. This is where I 'grew up' again from a young adult to a mature adult, so to speak. Unless my husband and I have any drastic career changes that require us to move, I think this city will be my home for many more years to come... I can always go back to Kuching with the budget airlines and all, but things really have changed in life. I do make it a point to at least return once or twice each year cos I have two little reasons that are really important to me .. read point 5.

5. I have two goddaughters (born 2001 and 2003) and a new baby godson (born 2010). Life is fair if you know where to look. I may not have any birth children (my own flesh and blood), but I am called "Mami" by my girls, Rachel and Genevie since they could speak, and "Mama" by my new baby godson, Herman.
My girls are sisters born to my distant cousin/childhood friend while Herman is my nephew on my husband's side. Love them to bits. For now, my maternal instincts are sort of satisfied by me doting on my three godchildren. When one door closes to shut off the sunlight, somewhere, another window or door is open -- go towards the light and look at the positivity in things, no matter how difficult.

Hence, with this long blog post, here's a very Happy Birthday to me and I hope turning the big 3-0 isn't gonna make me more depressed or anything.. I wish myself strength and perseverence to make a difference in my life and in the lives of those I meet. Happy Birthday, Sue, have a great day. :-)

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A conference with a loophole

You know what they say: There is no free lunch in this world. Yup, totally agree.

I recently (more like two months ago) attended a conference two blog posts ago and it was awesome listening to the renowned speakers and all from Asian countrie. Saw many celebrity bloggers too from Malaysia, Phillippines, Indonesia, India and Singapore as well as powerful people in Malaysia like CEO of AirAsia and former Prime Minister Tun Dr M.

What irked me is how incomplete the participation folder was. From the 20-odd speakers in the two-day conference, we only got less than 25% of the speakers' notes. Fine, we paid only RM199 (students and bloggers even paid less!) for a two-day conference with sponsored venue, sponsored lunches and I suspect sponsored two-tea breaks a day. However, if you cannot get it, then just tell us straight to our face, sorry, we cannot get the rest of the notes/ppt slides for you. end of story. But no, they told us, replied to us on fb wall (they do have a fb page, go search it up) that they are working on it, got problem due to some copyright issue, asked us to wait and be patient.

Two months on.. hello?

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Happy Merdeka (Independence) and Malaysia Day!

It's the Merdeka celebration from Aug 31st.. and we'll be celebrating Malaysia Day on September 16th.. Malaya gained independence from British on Aug 31st, 1957 and 6 years later, Sabah and Sarawak (both on Borneo Island) and Singapore (who later exited the coalition) joined Malaya to form Malaysia on Sept 16, 1963.

Happy Birthday Malaysia!

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Asian Bloggers and Social Media Conference 2010

Am attending the two-day conference which is a refreshing break from my day-to-day job.

Will blog more about it when I get the pix up!

UPDATE: Not worth my time to blog about it. Enough said.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

New Godson!

My hubby and I got a new baby godson yesterday (10th July 2010). Little Herman was born to my hubby's elder bro and sister-in-law on 17th May 2010, coincidentally that's also the 25th birthday of my god brother from my mother's side of the family. Talk about serendipity.

Herman's parents travelled all the way from Singapore for the godson/godparenting ceremony with Herman's elder bro, Norman who is going to be 4 on 22nd July. I am not sure about others but for the traditional Chinese, the godparenting ceremony is still done the traditional way, with gifts exchanges and tokens, etc.

Back in my hometown, I already have two god daughters from my childhood friend/distant cousin Audery (Odri).. Rachel is nearly 9 and Genevie is already 7... how fast time flies! Three godchildren and nearing the third decade of my life.. I still do not have a little mini me yet.. crossing my fingers and pray it will happen soon!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

October 2009 to June 2010

That's how long it took to get myself sick again.. that's actually a record-long.. sick as in fever, cough/cold/flu.

Not bad, not bad. Here's to a healthier 2010!

Thursday, 25 February 2010


February is coming to an end, Valentine's has passed, celebrated Chinese Lunar New Year on Valentine's Day ... and will be celebrating the full moon day (15th day of the new Lunar year) this weekend.

So much to look forward to in 2010! Happy February everyone!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Klinik dan Surgeri Setapak, Jalan Prima Setapak 5 - Sunday doctor RUDE

My hubby just consulted the stand-in doctor at Klinik dan Surgeri Setapak at Jalan Prima Setapak 5 who is totally rude and lacking interpersonal skills. It was an Indian male doctor who stood in for the usual jovial weekday doctor. He consulted this doctor on 24th January 2010, at about 7.00pm.

The doctor was giving his diagnosis of what we have already suspected, a middle ear infection, and he had actually paused and there was a pregnant pause in the conversation, so my husband asked a question to clarify and the doctor indignantly said: Let ME finish first.

That shut my husband up cos he was utterly pissed with people who are lacking finesse in their speech. He even charged a bomb for such shoddy consultation. He actually turned my husband's head around roughly and complained my husband turned his head wrongly/not enough/not the right way for him to see. Instead of feeling better, my hubby came out from the consultation room feeling slighted and said: "that is why I hate going to doctors."

Don't get us wrong, the usual doctor is very nice and friendly but this stand-in doctor brings the image of this branch down.

FYI: the address of this clinic is Klinik dan Surgeri Setapak, 19, Jln Prima Setapak 5, Setapak, KL