Saturday, 21 May 2011

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going!

Ever feel like the world is too much to bear and life is getting too much to handle? Feeling burnt out as you feel like a candle burning from both ends?

When the going gets tough, know that you are tough, and you should get going and persevere. Wise men always say that when you feel that you can no longer go on, that is when success/the end result is just one step away.

The key is NOT to give up. Ganbatteh! or the Chinese will say "Add Oil!"

This is more of a post to motivate myself more than anything. It's Friday night, and I haven't shook off this feeling of cramped schedule, and I am working on several deadlines, denying myself of a relaxing weekend - and am sneaking in a few moments to 'destress' in mini doses, i.e. blogging, etc.

I looked over at hubby and said to him: "It's a blessing in disguise that a baby/kid isn't in the equation, or else I'll be running on reserve battery right now! And who knows how long it will be to recharge? NEVER, really, once you hold the job as a parent, from what I observed." I was trying to see the positive side of being childless, no matter how much I wanna be a parent inside.

Hubby just looked at me knowingly, he's a man of a few words, my hubby, and his expression tells me a thousand words. Thanks hubby for giving me a break from my kitchen wifely duty, delivery it is! Hugs and kisses.

Burning the midnight oil now if I am to finish anything by this weekend! Wish me luck!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Why do I get called Auntie instead of "kakak" by a 20-year-old? 1Malaysia Dapat ke Tak direalisasikan?

I don't know why but a Malay woman my age (early 30s) would be called "kakak", which is the equivalent of "sister" by a young 20-year-old Malay but the moment they see this Chinese-descent-me of the same age as the earlier "sister", 9 out of 10 times, they will address me as "auntie" instead. That would be the equivalent of "makcik" in the Malay language - usually we reserve this for people who are at least 20 or more years older than the person who say it out of respect.

I understand that calling me "Auntie" is like bestowing me the respect that is much better than "Oy" or "eh" but I cannot stand it after some time and yes, I am irked!

BM (Bahasa Malaysia - Malaysian national language) post ahead.

Mengapakah saya dinaikkan 'pangkat' dan sekaligus, ditambahkan 'umur' saya hanya kerana saya seorang Cina dan bukan Melayu?

Memang betul nama saya Cina, ibu bapa dan seluruh keluarga saya Cina, bahasa ibunda saya di rumah Cina dan darah saya memang Cina, tapi darah saya berwarna merah juga, saya dilahirkan di Malaysia, tanah air semua rakyat Malaysia, malah, saya TIDAK PERNAH menghadiri sekolah Cina - ibu saya menghantar saya ke sekolah kebangsaan dan Bahasa Melayu merupakan bahasa formal pertama saya sementara Bahasa Inggeris bahasa kedua saya sejak kecil lagi. 

Saya membesar dengan memori mencuit hati selama ENAM TAHUN di sekolah rendah dengan kawan-kawan bumiputera di Sarawak, termasuk dua orang kawan Melayu dan seorang lagi lelaki Cina di dalam kelas saya. Saya masih ingat lagi, cara kami menyebut sukukata adalah dengan begitu bakunya sekali. Sa - Saaaaa Ya - Yaaaaa. Semua itu berubah dengan asimilasi masyarakat apabila kami masing-masing membawa diri ke sekolah menengah yang berlainan, dan percaya atau tidak, saya hanya mula bertutur Bahasa Melayu Sarawak, dialek unik negeri Kenyalang dalam Tingkatan Satu.

Bahasa Melayu saya adalah lebih 'mantap' berbanding bahasa ibunda saya kerana saya sekadar pandai bertutur Cina tetapi sebenarnya hanya mengenali beberapa patah perkataan setaraf budak Tadika kerana tidak pernah menerima pendidikan formal Bahasa Cina. Cina celuplah saya ni. 

Oleh itu, sila bercakap dengan saya dalam Bahasa Kebangsaan. Saya amat selesa bertutur dalam Bahasa Kebangsaan kita. Janganlah hairan jika anda mendengar pertuturan petahku, memang Bahasa Melayu bahasa pertama saya sejak kecil lagi, teman sepermainan saya semuanya bertutur dalam Bahasa Melayu, sehingga sekarang.

Tidak payahlah anda tergamam apabila ingin memasukkan saya ke dalam 'kategori kaum stereotaip' tetapi anda ragu-ragu sebab saya suka mengenakan pakaian tradisional Melayu seperti baju kurung dan baju kebaya labuh.

Apabila anda memulakan sapaan dengan Bahasa Inggeris, saya menyapa dengan "Apa Khabar?" "terima kasih" dengan tiada pelat langsung, tidak payahlah anda bertanya, "Eh, Cina ke Melayu?"

Selalunya, saya menjawab soalan itu dengan senyuman, sekadar bertanya balik "Mengapa? Penting ke? Saya orang Malaysia," selalunya mereka akan kebingungan.

Entahlah. Rasanya semangat 1Malaysia masih tidak dapat betul-betul dihayati sepenuhnya sekiranya kita masih di takuk lama. 

Malaysia bukan semata-mata hanya ada TIGA kaum utama! Bagaimana dengan kaum-kaum/etnik lain di Malaysia Timur?

Seperti mana kami di Bumi Kenyalang dan Negeri di Bawah Bayu mengenali yang Pulau Pinang dan Melaka pernah menjadi Negeri-Negeri Selat dengan Singapura, serta sangat jelas yang Adat Perpatih diamalkan di Negeri Sembilan, mengetahui yang Rantau Panjang terletak di Kelantan, adalah adil dan TIDAK KETERLALUAN untuk anda mengetahui yang Iban adalah kaum majoriti di Sarawak dan BUKANNYA Sabah, begitu juga satu lagi pengetahuan am yang kaum Kadazan berasal dari Sarawak, BUKANLAH, dari Sabah ba!

Untuk mengatakan Sabah dan Sarawak adalah tempat dan negeri yang sama, dan apabila dibetulkan, anda mengata "TIDAK MENGAPA" kerana anda salah anggap, Tidak Boleh dimaafkan! Adakah Johor dan Perlis negeri yang sama? Kerana itulah perbandingan jarak secara kasarnya di antara Tip of Borneo di Sabah sehingga ke selatan Sarawak.

Cukuplah leteran saya yang panjang ini. Nanti dikatakan saya ingin mencetuskan isu perkauman pula. Ini hanya rintihan hati dan keluhan naluri yang terpendam selama ini. Saya cintakan tanah air ini, kita sebenarnya tidak banyak berbeza, mengapakah perlu terus membezakan sesama sendiri dan mengkategorikan semua insan ke dalam acuan lama?

Majulah Malaysia mengikut peredaran zaman. Semoga doa ikhlas ini untuk mencapai Bangsa Malaysia yang aman dan betul-betul harmoni dan muhibah, termakbul juga suatu hari nanti.

Anda mungkin tertarik untuk membaca hasil nukilan seterusnya:

Sunday, 8 May 2011

A creature called woman: FEELINGS - from negative to positive (Part 1)


You know, men usually complain that we as women baffle them with our myriad of feelings.

When we (females) are happy, anything is alright, okay, positive, the whole world is right, and anything goes, nothing he says are wrong. Then he will assume it's okay to say and do as he does, and everyone lives happily ever after.

HOWEVER, When we are upset (i.e. anything from angry/sad/disappointed/frustrated/irked/the list of negativity goes on) - nothing ever seems right and usually we lash out at the man closest to us, maybe not in proximity but in the closest relationship with us, and usually besides our fathers or brothers.. this man is our partner/spouse/lover/boyfriend, etc. Then the men will feel confused as we are giving mixed signals - when we were happier, the same thing he said made us laugh but now it made you scowl.. he's baffled.

I am a big fan of John Gray's best-selling book - "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" - you should grab a copy if you haven't read it already. Hubby hardly reads and he finished the whole book!

Anyway, men and women are different creatures who think and act differently, and when they say opposites attract, they certainly knew what they were talking about.


Even when two friends of the same gender come together and develop a close friendship, there are bound to be differences in thoughts/opinion/habits, hence it isn't fair to expect our partner who are of the different gender to behave and think exactly like us, isn't it?


A man loves to solve problems and not just listen, so a woman gets irritated when he stopped her flow of ranting and sharing of her day by offering solutions.. or even worse, he judges her, criticising her moves in her 'story' that she was so eager to share with him. She then felt unhappy, and clammed up, and he knew there was something wrong, so he asked her if anything's wrong - she will force a fake smile and say: NOTHING, I'm fine. Which is the total opposite.. but she expects him to read her mind. When he just take her words at face value and didn't think much of it cos YOU SAID YOU'RE FINE - he thought just that, he will shrug off that nagging feeling that something's not right and forget about it while you cry your heart out and call your girlfriend and went through the whole two lines of conversation over and over again to see where you or he went wrong. Then you will start thinking the worst and think that you cannot live with that insensitive brat who doesn't understand your feelings and you cry some more while your girl friend agree with you and joined in the over-analysing of the whole matter -- all the time, he was already enjoying his football match with his buddies, totally forgetting about that 'small matter'.

When at first I tried to behave like a woman does - and think like a woman does - and then react like a woman does - I get the typical response from the man, as illustrated in John Grays' book named above. When we lacked communication, I felt like there was something wrong so I prompted him to speak. Again, whoever says that a woman speaks 10 times more than a man is very near the truth. With the exception of the group of talkative men which is like maybe a handful, the rest are typical men which conforms to the "man of few words" term. You cannot FORCE someone to talk more, if that's just not his nature. Doing so will only bring more stress to him, and he will retreat into his 'cave' to get away from the stress = which now becomes 'YOU'. I admit it, my guy doesn't mind me talking, but if I start to prompt him to 'talk', he'll start to move away from me, emotionally, due to the added 'stress'.


There is no fool-proof way to 'solve' this difference because to 'solve' something means to improve or change something.. and we should love and accept each other as we are. So what can we do?

SISTERS, we CAN change the way we feel - feelings are like water in our mind and heart - if we don't allow it to move/change, it will be stagnant, and mosquitoes (negativity) will lay their larvae (negative thoughts/ideas) in us and we become the breeding ground for diseases of the mind - in this case - it is OUR MIND. Who will suffer the most? Us women. We women torture and torment ourselves with negative thoughts and we will replay that unhappy moment over and over again, be it a single word/phrase/that smirk on the face/that laugh that ridiculed us/that email/text message/anything! Even that innocent smile he gave to the girl when all he thought was that she's helpful enough so he was just being friendly, and we let jealously take over and PUNISH ourselves and HIM for a whole three days by not talking to him or sometimes, the PUNISHMENT is WORSE, but is it worth it over one innocent action? Or you assumed it was a deliberate action on his part?

Just some thoughts. We should throw away that stagnant water to get new, cleaner water to fill our pond of consciousness that we call our mind. I think that's how Physics law of how water travels and moves explains anyway. We need to empty our mind of negativity in order to embrace positivity - which in return, hopefully, will inject some positivity in our relationship.

I've tried the power of positivity since 3++ years ago and so far, it has helped me many times at the darkest moment of my life -- okay, darkest sounds negative -- change it to CHALLENGING. A challenge sounds more positive and makes us feel more motivated to achieve or overcome it. At least it worked for me.

I started by changing the words I use to think/describe things/use in conversation. A simple change like - 'The weather is too hot, I hate it' - can be improved to - 'The weather is very hot (too means it's too much, negative) - I think that's a good thing as my laundry can dry faster and will have this sunshine smell. I love sunshine smell'.

You may call me an optimistic fool but if you don't try it, you'll never know. Be a skeptic, and forever skeptical you will be. Be an optimist, and you know your spirit isn't easily broken. That will certainly help relationships from breaking up, isn't it?

Of course, we are not to be the extreme of this maxim and take all the &!@# from guys as I don't condone domestic abuse or slavery of wives, and let's not get to those topics.

Change the way we think/feel or specifically - the WAY WE REACT - that makes a whole lot of difference and may just make your man reciprocate with the same positivity. I wish you love and luck!

*Up Next - I have this crazy idea to write my version of HOW TO - advice on relationships for women*
First of many series, I hope. Let's hope I maintain the mojo to continue writing. ;)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Girls Day Out - From Serious (Hospital Visit) to Fun (Yeah!)

I had a fun weekday with a girl friend, Sophia... and to 'celebrate' 05.05.11, we just went on an impromptu doctor's visit for her tummy pain - let's not get any details on that -- but after the hospital visit and arranging for further follow-ups, it was only 11am++ and the day was still young -- so when you put two like-minded gals together, with not much to do for the rest of the day, you get very random ideas of what you can do together.

Like really RANDOM!

At first, we wanted to find Sophia a job as she only moved to this part of the world earlier this year to follow her beloved hubby (sigh, sacrifices we women make when we marry), so we went back to my house to get her online resume onto my pendrive. Then I made some phone calls, and we decided not to go for any 'interviews' for the day, as it was already past 1pm.. and we wanted to enjoy.. so we closed the 'SERIOUS' chapter after 1pm.. and went for lunch.

We had like an hour chat over lunch where we had some girly talk.. man, nothing beats a womanly chat anytime! Vent, rant, vent, rant, complain, sharing, laughing, grimacing, emphatising.. laugh some more.. it was a great lunch date, girl!

Then I had this crazy idea to introduce this pampered wifey to public transportation, so I parked my car near the LRT (Train) station and we walked a short distance under the hot sun to the station and voila, Sophia had her first LRT ride in Kuala Lumpur.

Before getting on the train, ladies need to go to the ladies. :-)

With a camera in hand - we have to do what we ladies do best - camwhore - with the mirror in the washroom! lol - it's kinda blurred, but that's the very reason why it made it to this blog entry - cos it's blur enough for public viewing - lol - the clearer ones are in my personal fb page with privacy set, of course.

I insisted we sit down as there were available seats and had to literally make her sit as we had to stay away from the door once more commuters enter from the other stations we would pass by before reaching our destination. Rule No. 1 - be a little bit more self-centered and sit when it's appropriate. Pity your poor feet!

I decided on the spot that our itinerary would be to travel to MidValley so she gets to experience two train rides (one way tickets!).

We took the LRT to KL Sentral - which is the hub of transportation where you get four types of train services:
  1. the ERL (straight to airport within half an hour, on the road, it is triple that journey time)
  2. the LRT (Kelana Jaya line) - let's not go to the other line - kinda complicated and irrelevant for that day's and this blog's 'lesson' - Sophia and I took the Kelana Jaya line
  3. the Commuter or the correct spelling is - KOMUTER - in Malaysia's national language - it is a commuter train that travels on the conventional railway track but not as noisy as the next type... - we took this one for only one-station-away-ride to MidValley Mega Mall
  4. the KTM (the oldest railway system in Malaysia-based on the British railway system back when Malaya (now Peninsular Malaysia or West Malaysia) was still not even Malaysia and still under colonial rule) = the KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) is an international train that takes you to Southern Thailand (up North) and also Singapore (down South)
Besides the trains - there are buses at the basement level of KL Sentral and they only cost a fraction of the taxi rides to the airport - like RM10 for a ride to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA, the big one) as opposed to a RM70 ride in a cab and RM8 or RM9 for a ride in a bus (which is really punctual and leaves every 15 or 30 mins, depending on peak or off-peak-hours) as compared to a RM80 ride in a cab to the KLIA - LCCT (low cost terminal) - or better known as Air Asia (the budget airline) Airport.

It is also at KL Sentral that you get to buy bus tickets (sometimes with cable car rides and themepark packages!) for a bargain - to GENTING HIGHLANDS. It is a place where you get to enjoy the cool climate up the highlands, developed by the late honourable entrepreneur Lim Goh Tong.

Okay - end of 'lesson' for KL Sentral's many functions - did I mention it is just beside two reputable hotels - KL Hilton and Le'Meridien. I am sounding like a marketer than a blogger now.. lol.

End of 'lecture mode'

Anyway, Sophia and I arrived in Sentral - and bought the one-station-away-ticket to MidValley - which only cost Sophia RM1 (I have my own Touch-N-Go card incorporated into my ID, so I just lined up to help Sophia buy hers, you can google that card and its function yourself).

We then proceeded down a level to Platform 6 heading towards Seremban direction - and waited about 8 minutes for the train to arrive - KOMUTER train, here we come.

There were many people and the crowd was trying to enter the first two coach, so we walked to the further end and saw the pink coach. PINK! Then I remembered the news I read earlier this year about KTM management introducing the LADIES-ONLY COACH -- totally cool!

Then upon entering the PINK COACH, true enough all are women and ladies and children - EXCEPT for one odd guy - a Middle Eastern Man who was pretending not to hear me saying loudly three times - THIS COACH IS FOR LADIES ONLY to his face - he concentrated on his very 'important' phone call TALKING IN ENGLISH - so much for 'thick-skinned face', huh? He kept his gaze low, and I told Sophia in a loud-enough voice that I was gonna snap a photo of him and I did.

This is 'the guy who couldn't distinguish Ladies-Only-Coach' despite being told loudly that it is so and stayed put in the coach. This man who cannot read, is pretending to 'read something', fully knowing I was about to snap his pix as I announced it loudly.
If you look closely enough at the background, you can see the ladies symbols plastered all over the coach. You can click on the pix to enlarge it - just remember to click to back button to continue reading. ;)

Anyway, let's leave it at that and continue this blogpost to the even more 'fun' part!


So we arrived at MidValley Mega Mall and another RANDOM idea came to mind - How about we try Fish Spa - limited to the feet for a first try! Sophia hasn't tried it either and had been wanting to try it so we both went!

Paid RM38 for 30 minutes (but we were given more time than that as there were no crowd when we were there, like maybe 3 or 5 other people at any one time).. I'd say we dipped in for about 45 minutes before being told our time was up.

Now -- the fun part -- we have never laughed and giggled so much for a long time.

For the record, for nearly 5 minutes when we first sit there, we could hardly keep our feet in the water - this is Sophia refusing to keep her feet in the water and make the fish earn their money's worth to nibble away our dead skin cells. Your tummy muscles must be working overtime that 5 minutes to keep your feet up, Sophie! lol

Then, I sat closer to Sophia and started chatting and showing her the shots taken on my camera and we slowly got used to the ticklish and Squemish sensation - we relaxed and actually enjoyed the micromassage by the small fishes.

After we have obviously sat longer than 30 minutes, I decided to be more adventurous to try the medium-sized fish pool. I dipped in and my, they were more forceful than their smaller brothers and sisters. Sophia joined me and we dipped for about 5-10 minutes (already running on overtime) before we finally left the spa.

We only tried the feet spa without any body massage and all but they do offer other conventional massages at Kenko Fish Spa = Level 2, MidValley Mega Mall.

Quite Hygienic too, so we are quite reassured - they have been around for the past five years or so (as I conducted a simple market research on the spa industry in my capacity as a Public Relations consultant, and heard of them before).

Then we proceeded to dry up and touched our heels... smooth baby heels. AMAZING! For me, I have been having cracked heels as I used to be a dancer (ballet and traditional dance) when I was much younger due to the many hours of being on my feet for the footwork training and they are an ugly sight - so I was pleasantly surprised to be able to have smooth soles for once in my life!

Pix showing fish spa in action - In the process of exfoliation -- Sophia's pedicured feet and my rough feet.

The End-Result after Fish Spa on our feet -- ta-da! Silky Baby-Smooth Soles and feet!

For a close-up of the fish in action - it does look at bit freakish, but trust me, they swim to you naturally and they claim it is how the royalty in Turkey or somewhere do their foot spa as the fish species originates from there.

That's my feet you're looking at. lol At first, when we're doing it, we both agreed NOT TO DO IT AGAIN - cos it was ticklish. Then after we saw the results of the smooth heels, I immediately changed my mine and told Sophia - I MUST DO THIS AGAIN! lol

It was nearly 5pm by the time we finished walking around - and we then proceeded to my current-fad-that-I-have-not-missed-once-a-month-treat - Ninja Joe at the Gardens Midvalley, which is just beside the MegaMall, they are even connected at the basement level and also with the overhead bridge at Level 1 (if I remember the level correctly).
I blogged about it two months ago and I've been there that one time in March, another time in April - and now once more in May - I must be porkburger crazy or something. lol
Like them on FB - or follow them on twitter at @porkburger

If your name is Joe, you get RM1 off your total order. How cool is that for marketing?

We then parted ways after Sophia's hubby (coincidentally named 'Hun', his real Chinese name, as in shortform for Hunny in English) came and picked us up and I made my way back to my car in the train.

This is like the longest post of this whole blog.

I shall end this with warm thoughts and great memories of the Double Five (05.05.11) outing. Thanks for the wonderful companionship, Sophia! Let's do that again sometime soon! ;)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Happy Birthday to Papa! My dad, my inspiration. :-)

My dad just turned 59 today. May 3rd. Not so young yet not so old either. He's born in the year of the Dragon in Chinese zodiac, which is very auspicious, and according to Thai/Burmese zodiac, he's a dragon too! Such coincidence!

He's always been a source of inspiration to me and we share a very close emotional bond, he has been talking and telling me stuff and our conversations started since I could babble as a tot, aged barely 2.

He was the one who thought me how to do the rebuttal in debates (he was a former debater back in his school days), I was only in Primary School, I guess it was either Primary Three or Primary Four, when I was about 9 or 10, when I need his help for ideas for a very lopsided title (it will come back to me slowly but not now), and the supposedly to be winning team lost to us due to my rebuttals.. it was a friendly match among classmates but man, I was so proud of my medal-less 'win'.

My dad is also very musically inclined, and having missed out a privileged life  (financially), he lived his dream through me, nope, he didn't make a mould of himself in me, he encouraged me and provided me with all that he could offer, sending me to piano lessons from when the monthly fees were only two figures up to the higher levels where the fees went up to three figures, and bear in mind, that is like maybe 10% or more of his monthly disposable income as a government/civil servant.

When I felt like giving up, he would tell me stories and analogies to keep me motivated, sharing with me his dreams that were unrealised during his youth but he never regretted having to forgo them, if not, he would not have chosen his career path and met my mom and had us three siblings, who gave an entire new meaning to his life.

He is one with words, and I believe it when a writer isn't born, just like every other big talent - a writer isn't born, but trained. I was trained by my father, and then I developed a love for reading thanks to my mother, so I love words, thanks to my upbringing. When classmates dreaded writing essays and learning languages, I embrace them like a fish to water.

Papa, you are not as close to late grandpapa but I was to him and looking back, I could see how similar you both were, the values you both imparted to me further strengthened my core being.. that is of course, not forgetting mama's contribution in raising a bold, outspoken girl who is able to get up no matter how many times she fell down in life. Like literally, the number of bruises and bumps and bleeding whenever I fall, including my clumsy episodes that lasted up till the man I now call my husband started knowing me. It was funny back then, and rest assured I am now a grown woman who is more of less in control of her clumsiness (which I suspect is inherited somehow or other!). I will still stumble in life now and then but thanks to you and mama, I will get up and walk on with a sense of purpose in life.

Happy Birthday, Papa and Happy Mother's Day to the most wonderful parents I could ever hope for. :-)