Looking For Love

This is me thinking out loud, on the eve of new year.

Reflecting back, I sometimes wonder whether is there such thing as looking for your true love? Your soul provider, soul mates, your other half. Do you look nearer to you or can you look further across the continents? Or are you just playing with fire, and ended up burning yourself.

We all have gone through the motions of these excitement, heart beat skips a beat whenever you see the name appears on your caller ID, or whenever you see anything associated with that person, may it be a car, a shop, a certain perfume, a name…

How, exactly do you play this game, if this is a game afterall? What sort of rules are we playing here?

Or, maybe, you just need to lock this part of the brain and never, ever open it again.

The Last New Year That Wasnt With You

Time: one week to count down, 2006. 

All the flights back to KK were full, even one week before the departure date. This is afterall, time for almost everyone to fly home and you are so adamant to go back. Your friends needed you, you said. They have been texting you endlessly, asking, begging for you to be there at Promenade.

You are their centre of attraction, life of the party, the Banker.

So, a popular guy, all the friends are calling now, decides to pay for the exhorbitant Business class one way. Your head honcho follows too and travels with the boss with style as well. Afterall, how can a Chairman walks alone without his trusted body guard?

I was left behind, spending the quiet new year at home with your daughter. Watching the fireworks on tv, and just imagining what festive atmosphere you were having there. With all your friends and endless pits of whiskeys, wines and band girls at the club.

I called you close to midnight but both mobiles went unanswered. Must be the band singing and getting ready for the countdown. Or could it be that you chose not pick up the calls as you were busy with the hoards of girls surrounding the table downing the bottles and wiggling their Pinoy asses on your lap.

But, you know what?

I will only let this sadness and nostalgia come and visit me once in a while, and only ever so briefly because I let them to. I choose to reflect on them. After this, I will pack all these memories, send them back to the small dark compartment in the deepest recess of my brain and forget them to oblivions.

Because, thats where they deserve to be.

You Got Business Brain?

The Star online ran a story of an 18 year old student from Singapore who sells her used undies to finance her studies.

A pair of panties costs you back at RM69.00 and to get a bra you need to cough out RM115.00. (exchange rate is about USD1.00=RM3.80). 

Talk about entrepreneurial spirit!

This came like a magical light bulb in my head that should I want to finance my next projects, maybe this is not a bad idea afterall. The only thing I need to worry about:

  1. should I stick to my branded upper market stuff to sell (so that these people will not think I scrimp on my inner wear)?
  2. how long should I put on all these undies to be considered as used? 5 mins? 3 hours?
  3. if I were to wear it for longer period of time…say….an entire day, could I label this as premium buy?
  4. should I have a return policy?

Ok…lets open the wardrobe and see what I have here…

Life’s Little Pleasures

My favourite time of the day is definitely at dusk. The wonderful, play of lights when the sun just about to dip below the horizon. In my mind, the time stops for a while at dusk, and assumes its function when the darkness fell.

My life’s little pleasures, in random order:

  1. Tucking into a cup of Oreo Cookies ‘n’ Cream Baskin Robbins ice cream (mmmmmmm……)
  2. Tucking into a cup of Oreo Cookies ‘n’ Cream AND Peanut Butter ‘n’ Chocolate Baskin Robbins ice cream
  3. Watching the sunset
  4. Watching the sunset on a beach, with someone special
  5. My mug of steaming hot local coffee
  6. Teh halia tarik, extra kau!
  7. Watching my daughter asleep..
  8. Lounging with the cats
  9. Lounging with the cats while watching back to back CSI series in the wee hours of the morning when the house is quiet
  10. Karaoke, in an open lounge. (such exhibitionist)
  11. Spending an afternoon in Ikea
  12. Walking into Body Shop
  13. Opening emails (gives me little thrills each time)
  14. Looking at visitor’s stats to my blog
  15. Little kisses.. 🙂

Kuala Lumpur At Midnight – Part 5

Food = Malaysians 

Malaysians, if we all know by now goes hungry at any given time of the day. And usually the supper would be somewhere between 12.00 am and 6.00 am. Mc Donalds Malaysia is making a roaring business by providing 24 hour delivery services.

You can pick almost any kind of food – Arabic, Western, Oriental, you name it…and you will get it in this city, provided you know where to go.

So, here we are, at 3.00 am, the craving for rojak buah, teh halia tarik and ABC hit us like nobody’s business. Rojak buah, for those who wants to know, consists of assorted cut fruits and veges such as pineapples, cucumber, prawn paste and a few other gooey stuff and viola! Out came the most delectible salad. Teh halia is ginger tea, another de facto drink of most Malaysians apart from teh tarik. And ABC…(stands for Air Batu Campur but funnily enough it has a literal translation of water stone mix..). ABC is actually a dessert made from shaved ice laden with assorted red beans, sweet corns, jelly, palm seeds and than drizzled with sweet flavoured syrup and condensed milk.

 Mmmmmmm…………

pc230001.jpg teh halia tarik

pc230004.jpg our rojak buah….

pc230002.jpg The kids’ 4.00 am brand of humor…hmmm….

A Note From My Daughter

I was sorting some stuff in the bedroom last night. Various books written by Donald, foodie magazines, day old newspapers. Snuggled between Lillian Too’s Fortune & Feng Shui 2007 Rooster and Rose Tremain’s Restoration, I found a home-made card by Lyn for last Mother’s Day.

She has always been the creative bit of the family, and loves sending out personalised, home-made cards or gifts for the cousins, friends, anyone. Way back in May, I was still in Kota Kinabalu K sorting out the restaurant. One evening she called, said that she wasnt feeling too well. We talked a bit on the phone, then chatted on the IM. She switched on the cam and I realised just how much I missed her.

The next day, I flew back to KL just in time for Mother’s Day.

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She apologised for not giving a proper card to me as she was feeling too sick to go out. She also ran out of her fancy papers.

I told her its the thoughts that counts. 😉

Fanatic

Bhutto Assasinated In Attack On Rally

I remember a few years ago, Ahmad used to work as a Cook at my mother’s place. Ahmad was great at churning out the best bryani, roti chanai and fish curries. He was an expert in roasting the whole lamb for the many dinners my mother hosted. He served tea during tea-time with scones that he baked and marmalades that he bottled himself. The vegetables supplier knew his penchant for selecting the freshest vegetables and knew the market prices for main items. No issues there.

Ahmad was a Pakistani.

He was the perfect Cook save lest for his ideology that the (then) President Benazir Bhutto should not become a President simply because she was a woman. “And a woman”, he ranted on, “in Islam should not and cannot be a leader”.

Huh? I was perplexed. This was a very confused guy. This was the very kind of guy that gives many Western world a wrong glimpse of the religion. With one clean sweep, Islam is labeled as narrow and prejudice.

There he was chopping the onions in the kitchen belonging to a woman who had salvaged him from poverty, gave him roof to live under, paid for the education of his children (he was a divorcee) and paid his salary which was more than a graduate on his first job.

In my humble experience dealing with so many people here that cut across so many races, ethnics, religions and cultural backgrounds, I soon realised that there are really, really insane people out there who declare they are religious and pious but in reality they have come to a point of confusion in what is the true teaching of the holy religion and their own intepretation.

I have observed that these are some of the things that will bring up a heated debate with these so called self professed Muslim religious people:

  1. When a woman decides she needs to work
  2. A woman who decides she needs to work because the household income cant support the entire family
  3. When a woman becomes a Head of State
  4. A married woman earning more than the husband
  5. A woman who speaks more than one language
  6. A woman who speaks well in more than one language
  7. A woman who is aware of her sexuality (yeah, this is a bad one…)
  8. A woman who knows her rights
  9. When a woman who knows her rights made an informed decision

I have had enough listening from these people giving me unsolicited advices on how I should raise my daughter, or how I should (or should not) do in public and…what would be the most suitable job for me to do.

And I said to them…

“Huh?”

Remembering Tsunami

26 December 2004.

3 years ago, a massive earthquake scalling at 9.0 magnitude with an epicentre off the the West Coast of Sumatera, Indonesia was described as one of the worst disasters in the history of humankind.

Escaped from severe damages and high number of deaths unlike its neighbouring country Thailand, Malaysia still bore the wrath of the tidal waves at those places located in the coastal sides of Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.

We were vacationing in Penang just a few days before the disaster struck and stayed at a resort in Batu Ferringhi, one of the main areas where Penang Island was worst hit. The weather during the few days of stay was great for picnicking and walking on the beach. You could see miles and miles of blue ocean from the white sandy long stretch of beach. Noone could have fathom what was in store in the next few days. Had Lyn not wanted to go back as she missed her cat, the vacation was supposed to stretch until Christmas day. So, on 23 December, we checked out from the resort and headed home.

Mary, an old colleage related to me of her story of how she and her entire family somehow escaped from this disaster.

It started of as a grand Christmas holiday plan for the entire clan – from grandparents, to cousins and nephews, siblings and parents – to go for a vacation to Phuket. Fate or whatever you want to call it, saw the wanted flight to Phuket full. There was a shortage of one seat for one of the family members. So, they changed plan, and booked a flight to Langkawi Island instead.

The entire family was booked at one of the resorts for a few days and was suppose to check out on 25 December 2004 itself. The check-out day arrived. Head of the family requested from the hotel for an extension of check out time but was denied as the hotel was running at a full capacity.  So, while waiting for the time to go to the airport, the family decided to take a walk by the beach. The ocean, she reflected back, looked as if it was sucked away. The tides were very low you could walk on the sea bed. She saw crabs crawling away and dead fishes were scattered everywhere. She wondered where had the watergone to?

She heard a sudden ominous rumbling, she said, as if a huge army had just marched in, complete with horses trampling the earth, and she could feel a sense of danger in the air.

And there it was.

Giant, black waves from afar came rushing, rolling towards the shore. She got panicked, she said. She had never seen anything like that before. Gut feeling kicked in and she rushed towards the small nieces and nephews and pulled them away towards the resort. Other vacationers started to scamper back as well although a few were still standing there, as if waiting for the giant army of water to roll in.

She ran as if there was no tomorrow, she related with a shudder. The black, murky water rushed in towards the shore with such force that the minute she reached to a higher point, Mary and the kids were already drenched by the waves. Somehow, none of her family members were hurt.

Had one of the seats to Phuket were confirmed, the entire clan would have flown to Phuket and stayed at one of the worst hit resorts. To think that there was a possibility than an entire clan would have vanished in a split second in the dark, destructive waves of tsunami gives me a nightmare to this day.

A miracle? You decide.

In The Star Online today, it was reported that “hundreds of Indonesians prayed at mass graves in Aceh province on Wednesday, while in Thailand Buddhist monks held a ceremony to remember the many thousands who died in the Indian Ocean tsunami three years ago.”

“At Phuket in Thailand, locals and foreigners gathered for a blessing ceremony on the island led by maroon-robed Buddhist monks.”

“NEVER FORGET”

It’s Time

2007 will be over in just a few more days and 2008 will make its way.

How time flies and awaits for noone. Babies are born and people will pass on, children will grow and adults will love, get married maybe, or keep on going in search of that one true soul partner. Some found theirs and some dont. A few maybe just resigned to the fact that they will be on their own till the day they die, just as how they were born.

This year has been a mixture of both ups and downs for me, and the family, whichever angle you may choose to look at it. The emotional roller coaster has come down and seems quite stable for sometime now, which is good. Down because I see how my life of so many years fling-ed passed my eyes after being married for 17 years. It gives me time to reflect what sort of life I had, baggages I carried, and still carry, and trying to embrace all these changes with an open mind. It has also given me a good jolt that we cant take life nor love for granted, as these cant be demanded as if they were rightfully ours from the minute we enter into this world. On the same level, I also learn than sometimes opportunities come knocking down at the least places you looked. New friends are made and some of the old ones give me some food for thoughts about real friendships. Some are renewed and some…well…they just withered away….

The good side is, all these experiences has given me strength that I thought I never had, and I hope that my former other half has found his as well.

2008 will see me lined up two new main projects that may see me pushing my own boundaries and entering into new areas that I only dared to venture so fleetingly only in my mind before. I am keeping mum on the first one as it is still in its infancy of conceptualisation but I dare say that the second one has gotten me into an extra frenzy not to get overboard in self promoting!

I am finally realising my dream to open up a retail chain of smart casual street wear under the brand Cats. Inspired by my previous works with the youth, and of course my own daughter who has this eclectic sense of fashion, I have conceptualised a brand new, home brand label and this concept has been brought to life and crystalised by a young local designer. So, keep on checking back for work in progress and grand opening!

Retail line has been high on my list since I discovered my knack in the business world. The first venture in retail world was way back in the late 80’s when I opened up a batik-inspired beachwear boutique in Kuantan, Pahang. For an 18 year old, it was heaven. The designs and concepts changed every 4 months, from bright fuschia pareos to azure coloured bikinis followed by the mythical dragon ripped t shirts hand-sewn with beads and sequins. The pieces were grabbed by all the myriads of tourists who make a beeline from the nearby Hyatt, Merlin and other resorts. I was living a high life back then.

Health. I hope and wish that my health and my daughter’s will be better than ever before. We were plagued by so many weird illness this year, contributed by stress, no less.

So, here I am saying goodbye to 2007 that was filled with laughter, happiness, tears, madness, enlightenment; and for 2008 I welcome it with renewed strength, hopes and wishes.

Happy holidays everyone.

Rainbow Bridge For My Kitties

Anyone who had read my previous posts would know that my daughter and I simply love our kitties. We have quite a few of them at home. A few are in the special cat house built at the back lawn but the rest will have a run for the house and they give certain nooks and cranies of the house special characters with their claims of those corners as their own. Rexton, the 5kg girl, for instance refused to venture any further than my bedroom door. Dexter, the male Tom who cant walk but hop around like a bunny due to his mishapen backbone loves to sprawl anywhere – the staircase, kitchen cabinet, shoe rack, flipped down toilet seat…you name it and he might have left his tummy mark there. Mayoko for instance, loves nothing better than to chew on my aloe vera plants. Oftentimes, I can see her marks on those soft aloes as they turn brownish… 

So, when any of the babies passed on, there would be certain void in the house, some some of empiness. And sadness knowing they are no longer around.

Today’s post will be dedicated to two of my kitties who passed on recently.

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Goergie Girl my super-duper feminine kitty with lush tails and the gentlest disposition. She has this motherly love towards all kittens and will act as the host for any new kitty that comes to our home. Georgie loved nothing better than to show off her beautiful tail. The garden chair was where she used to curl up under the morning sun.

On that fateful day, I was away in the city. Lyn called on the mobile telling me that she just picked Georgie from the roadside and that she was bleeding profusely on the head. Apparently she was trying to cross the road infront of my house, and got knocked over by a motorcyclist. I rushed back home, and the minute the car swerved at the driveway, I saw Lyn with this bundle of fur, all covered with blood.

My Georgie passed on a few days after but I think she is in a better place now where there is no pain for her anymore…and all the tunas that she wanted, and loved.

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This is Baby, Sock’s mom. She was named something else as a little kitty as she was very sickly. The Malays have this believe that when the name is not suitable for that person/animal, they will get sick and eventually die…. I cant for the life of me remember what it was her real name but after a few weeks looking at how frail and sickly she was, we decided to change her name to that, Baby, as she was like a baby – needy, loved to be cuddled, bottle fed and slept on the bed.

She disappeared from home for a few days recently. The weather was not so good. It rained cats and dogs for one week straight and I was getting a little worried. I know how she liked to do nothing better than to curl up at her favourite corner, nice and warm, during cold rainy days. Baby came back soon after but I was in for a shock. She looked horrible. Skinny, with runny nose and extra mucus dripping from the side of her mouth. And she could hardly purr when I picked her up and stroked her neck gently, the way she liked it. The fluffy soft fur was gone.

Baby passed on a few days after. Now, her corner at the staircase landing is pretty much empty. The other kitties sometimes stopped by the place where she used to curl up, as if still seeing her there, all curled up and purring away..