The Belated V Day Post

Photo1976 Photo1977 Photo1978 Photo1979  APhoto1980 Photo1981 Photo1982 Photo1983 Photo1985 Photo1986

Our V Day, as usual, is a drive through some kampung roads, and sometimes they do not even exist on the map. I felt like driving up North this time. Just because I miss the vast, green paddy fields that can be found in Sekinchan and the surrounding area. The day was splendid with the sun shining bright. We drove using the old Sg Buloh/Kuala Selangor road. Passing Ijok and several other smaller kampungs. No fruit stalls though as it is still early in the year.

After passing by the bridge in Kuala Selangor, then the real drive took place. You can see swaying palms and smell the ocean breeze in the air. However, unlike our beloved East Coast, the West Coast’s ocean is nothing to speak off. Made of muddy and still ocean, there is no real beach to speak of. We drove to this small beach called Pantai Redang. After driving through a small fishing village, we arrived at this hot, sandy beach. Mostly occupied by Chinese fishermen, we were amazed at how clean the beach was.

I wanted to have some cendol and G had this small can of coffee supposedly imported from Austria. My cendol was served in this big coconut. Very unusual.  Saw several dogs loitering about. Skinny dogs they were. Took out the dog food from behind the trunk and fed them.

Did not realized we drove that far until we reached Teluk Intan. I showed G the leaning tower of Teluk Intan of which, he promptly declared it The Leaning Tower of Disappointment. He was expecting the tower to be taller.

Sorry love, it is no Pisa!

The Wedding Planner

Well. What can I say. The Girl wanted to get married in the next few months. With more than two kampungs of invitees no less. No decent wedding should happen without a wedding planner, they say.

Uh huh.

Someone introduced a wedding planner to her. And what a nightmare this wedding planner has become that I told her “over my dead body” that she should hire this person!

This was the chat snapshot between the wedding planner and The Girl. Noticed the language she used and how “brilliant” her knowledge of a traditional Malay wedding. She also suggested that it is cool to order from Food Panda (is she out of her freakin’ mind?)

Check out the “berendoi set” she proposed to The Girl. Perhaps she was suggesting that the cats could be in the swing?

Berendoi, comes from the word “endoi” or swing. A baby is placed in a special swing and gently rocked to sleep.

Nowhere in this wedding ceremony that a berendoi will take place.

wedding planner chat

Holiday On My Mind…..

We both need REAL holiday. Soon.

koksamui

(picture credit goes to http://www.wretreatkohsamui.com/rooms/wow-ocean-haven)

I want to smell the ocean, run the smooth sand in between my toes, wake up and lulled back to sleep to the sound of the crashing ocean against the shore.

I want to walk hand in hand with my darling while watching the sunset, or sunrise.

Have coffee at the patio while admiring the yonder and the specs of white tops.

No wifi, mobile phones, sms, whatsapps.

Just me and my baby…..

sigh…

Back To School

“23,000 English language teachers to undergo training to improve efficiency.”

So screams the Sun newspaper headline dated 28 January, 2015.

Ok, so fine, they want them to go through all these training so that the teachers can be on par with their peers in England. Which is fine and dandy. But, they are forgetting that the process takes place way before the teachers step into the profession as English teachers.

It starts from school and all the way up to the university level.

I recall when I was in school, I was laughed at, or joked about because I wanted to “speak London”. I was reading English dictionary and was comfortable being the only Malay student who became the first speaker in the school debate team. But I didnt care. I wanted to make sure I was ahead of everyone else.

Fast forward to what I do now for a living which is training the corporate world and fresh graduates entering to the world of work, one of the main challenges being a Malay is having to build up that self confidence. Never mind that the English proficiency in writing or speaking left much to be desired, but the lack of self confidence is really in a critical state.

We had participants turned blue when asked to stand in front of the class and speak about themselves. One session had us having to help one participant who was hyperventilating and almost collapse. All I asked was for a 3 minute introduction of herself.

Anwyays, coming back to this initiative of having the English teachers be retrained for efficiency, maybe what else could be done is to ensure that each classroom and each session is safe environment for students to make as many mistake as they can and learn from it without having to be laughed at by their peers.

This is a good learning culture – safe environment. The culture should then be carry forward to the real world. The culture of asking questions without being told to shut up.

What Legacy Would You Leave Behind?

It has been a long day for G and I today. He was busy with his client’s coaching session and I was in a meeting with a client who is now soon fast to be a friend and hopefully, a business associate. It was amazing at how things just happened.

Several months G and I were involved in an exciting project on behalf of a client. The project involved us developing video scripts, both in English and Bahasa Malaysia. The project soon evolved to be like a real movie! The things you learn what goes on behind the scenes were so amazing and we both loved it so much.

Today’s blog was not so much about the video project but it is about how I met about this someone.

The video taping took place at an office somewhere in the city centre. The first night we did the shooting, the General Manager of the company came in to have a look at what we did. It just so happened that he brought his entire family along – his wife and two twins! – as they were on the way out from the city heading towards the East Coast for a short holiday. The one hour he said he wanted to stay turned out to be several hours. He was literally mesmerized (as we did) with the entire major production.

In between the shooting, someone introduced me to his wife. After exchanging some pleasantries, we chatted about the weather, the holidays, the usual stuff. The conversation was not long, could have been about 30 minutes ago. But too long to be away from behind the camera as I was supposed to be coaching the actors with their script.

That 30 minutes chat apparently turned out to be a life changing event for this person. She is now less stress, more relaxed and sure of her daily decisions about career, family and life. She is leaving her current job which pays extremely well but has been giving her grief mentally. She is, in her words, pursuing the greater things in life.

Just the other day, we spoke on the phone and she told me exactly that. What she said, gave me goosebumps. I could not recall what exactly was I said to her but here it was…

Apparent the life changing question was this,” What legacy would you like to leave behind?”

Pray For East Coast

The weather was bad, it rained every day, sometimes continuously for the entire day and night. That was the start of the monsoon season in November 2014. The rush of water from the hills and the rivers came in mercilessly on 26 December 2014.

The entire network in the East Coast was incapacitated.

Photo1322This was taken at the beach of Taman Tasik Gelora, Kuantan, Pahang. Dated 17 December 2014. G and I were in Kuantan for a short work trip. It rained the whole day and for the next 3 days. By the time we went back, Kuantan town was flooded and the water level had risen in major parts of the East Coast. As of 29th December 2014, the most affected states were Kelantan, Pahang, Johor, Terengganu, Perak and Selangor with a total evacuees of 225,731.

And I Thought The Flood Had Ended

———————————————

I was back in Raub over the weekend to settle some personal matters. The initial drive from KL via Kuala Lumpur-Karak Expressway was great, the sun was shining and I could see the mountains beyond. Did a pit stop at the big Petronas stations just before entering Bentong toll and saw gadzilion convoys who were on their way to the East Coast for flood relief. The road heading towards Bentong was choked with 4-wheel drives and we got into an hour long jam at both entrances towards the town centre. Water was receding at several parts of the roadside. It took me about an hour just to pass Bentong town which normally will take me about 15 minutes only.

Photo1489

This was taken along the Federal Route 8 (Bentong-Raub) around 2pm. I could see dark clouds forming beyond the yonder.

Photo1490

I saw this as I entered Raub town. This was in front of Taman Wawasan.

It rained cats and dogs that Saturday night and had caused Sg Bentong to swell and damaged the Bentong bridge. Both ends were damage causing the bridge to be rendered dangerous for us.

This means motorists, including moi had to use an alternative road to get back to KL on Sunday.

Great.

So, there I was driving through Sertik-Mempaga 2-lane road. The road passes by small, quaint little villages and fruit orchards. Think of off-roading with a slightly better road condition and hundreds of cars, busses and lorries as your travelling companions, you will know how it is.

Photo1508

This was the turning exit to Mempaga road from Raub.

Photo1509

There were so many cars…

Photo1511

Even traffic jam right in the middle of no-where….

main_bridge

(source from The Star) This was the Bentong bridge. Kinda scary!

Don’t Be Stupid

I am a member of this particular FB group whose members consist of single mothers and ladies who have remarried. Managed by a good friend of mine who also happens to be a single mom herself, this group is…interesting.

A few days ago, one of the ladies, a single mom with 2 kids posted a rather interesting question. She wrote that she is dating a guy who was divorced from his wife for 12 years. The guy is keen to marry her but he is also keen to get back to his ex wife.

Whom he had divorced 12 years ago.

Blinking 12 years ago.

The Malay has a name for this kind of behaviour. It is called “gila talak“, meaning desperate to get back at one’s ex spouse till you go mental.

Nice description, huh?

So,her question was, “Should I marry this guy?”

I mean, woman, where’s your brain? Is your bed freezing that bad every night? Or desperate for a man’s touch that makes you become stupid?

Oh. Wait. She also added that his friend said this guy was never seen with another woman, except this time around with this lady. Uh. And, your point is? For a mere few words, you have left your brain and logic behind?

Toothache

Who would think that a tooth ache could make you:

  • lost work productivity
  • feel youve lost your brain
  • feeling more sensitive than usual
  • low tolerance level to any noise especially screeching kids in malls
  • low desire to do anything but to sleep (sleep induced by painkiller that was described as similar to Tylenol 3. Anything higher is morphin..)
  • lesser tolerance to any crap
  • sleep
  • sleep
  • sleep

I could not even think of dinner menu! For 3 blinking weeks that started off just before Christmas and went through the new year, I was like a walking zombie. The culprit was a cracked tooth or split tooth syndrome. Chewing was painful so liquid diet it was. As the antibiotic prescribed by the dentist kicked in, the swelling went down and the pain lessened to somewhat a tolerable degree.

Finally, after agonising 5 days of trying to bring the swelling down with further pain killers and antibiotic, the day to pay the dentist came. Dr Ju who happened to be an ex classmate was the best dentist.

10 minutes and it was over.

That’s it.

3 days later I got my brain back.

Photo1465

The culprit.

2015 – First Posting

Still on the new year story.

George took me out on the eve of the new year’s day. Really did not want to battle the traffic and the heavy run as well as the long drive so we opted to go to Setia City Mall. Fast becoming another favourite mall of ours, this huge mall sits right in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by nothing but vast development land, the mall has enough interesting makan places including a movie theater, karaoke and bowling alleys.

As we arrived in the early evening, the mall was started to look pack with night time revellers. Fortunately we easily found a parking spot and decided to have dinner first. It was a toss between Dancing Fish or Tony Roma’s but Asian food won for the night so the Dancing Fish it was. A high end Malay-Indo restaurant, we used to visit their outlet at the Bangsar Shopping Complex. The food was good and ambiance was nice. The starter was kereduk, a mixed of several types of vegetable such as cucumber, long beans and cabbage tossed in special peanut sauce and other herbs. Very refreshing and delightful. For mains, we ordered the steamed rice to accompany the beef rendang, fried kailan oyster sauce and cumi belado goreng which was essentially wok-fried squids in sambal.

To wash all these wonderful food down, G ordered his sirap selasih and I had the humble warm water…

The toothache did not stop me at all to enjoy the food with “half chew” and many ouchhhh!! and ahhhhh!!! Finally, had to stop as the pain was quite unbearable and had to pop a pain killer.

cumi sambal belado George kailan and beef rendang keredok

The new year night was not going to be complete if not for a movie date with my darling. As usual, no booking made for the tickets but that was only a minor issue. The latest movie on screen – Seventh Son – with exciting casts such as Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and the brooding-looking actor Kit Harrington. Good for entertainment if you just want to watch a movie but do not expect anything spectacular or thought provoking film out of this.

Photo1427The pretty trees came to life with fairy lights.

Photo1429

Me and my darling! Saying goodbye to 2014 and hello 2015.

2015 Is Here.

2014 – recovery year

2015 – come back year

2016 – sustainability year

I cannot for the life of me remember whether I make any new year resolution for 2014 but I knew then that one of the things I needed to do was to make 2014 a “recovery” year. Recovery from a truly challenging 2013. I remember that we didnt go anywhere then. Watched TV and then slept throughout the night.

Tonight, despite the toothache that has been bothering me for the past couple of weeks, we went out to the Setia Alam City Mall for a nice new year dinner and a movie date. We were supposed to fly off/drive off to somewhere for the holidays. Instead, duty calls and we are in KL for most of it.

Inspired by my friend, Ms M’s resolution, perhaps mine would almost sound the same as hers, though with some twist. 2015 also means a big bang year for us, or so the plan. Here goes:

  • Be less social for 2015. Not that we are being social nowadays but think we prefer less of human contacts. Too much drama. And noise.
  • Travel more and more importantly travel back to Canada for the summer.
  • Be better in health.
  • Learn a new language. French? Spanish? German?

newyear2015

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 229 other followers