It’s Great To Be Alive

I have gained some wonderful blogger friends through various blogging sites and this friendship is continued through Facebooking. It is amazing how this simple social platform has brought some wonderful people all over the world into truly one seamless connection.

A distant FB friend was diagnosed as having Colon Cancer stage 4 and she kept this quiet since she was diagnosed last year. 2 days ago she announced to her FB friends that she would undergo a major operation this morning. Days before this, she posted a beautiful note to everyone asking for forgiveness and hinting there was more to this sad farewell note.

Early this morning, another FB friend had a quick shout-out that she was already in the OT. Mid morning came and we found out she passed away after the operation.

I re read her last farewell note. I could sense her strength despite the pain she must have gone through. She was a beautiful young lady and to think that she would no longer be able to feel tomorrow’s morning sun. Or hear the birds. Or even to talk to the persons who matter most to her.

I made my thanks to God for being alive today so that I can hug and tell my daughter that I love her. I was also able to tell my boyfriend how much he means to me and telling him that I love him dearly.

I reflected back on some of the actions I took in my life. Many were done out of necessity. And many more because, in my mind, there might not be tomorrow for me to do it, or to say the things I wanted to say.

And that, its great to be alive!

The Ox Is Coming

Just days from today is the Chinese Year Of The Ox.

I wondered what this year could hold for me especially the in love, career and money department. (since when it has been not??)

 

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One astrology page says this to me who is a Rooster:

“For the Rooster, the year of the Ox offers a pleasing and restful period.

You will be able to build on the foundations already laid in recent years and progress will continue to be positive if a little slow. There will be times when you might feel more competitive and ambitious than normal and you will eventually reach the aims you set for yourself for this year.

There may, however, be one or two small challenges, perhaps as other people oppose your ideas. These challenges you should be able to overcome with determination. So persevere. Don’t give up at the first hurdle otherwise you will not be giving yourself a true chance to make something of yourself. Success will come through having faith in your abilities.

The slow start of the year will be deceptive as the months will get better as time wears on and good fortune is suggested. However, the very start of the year finds you revising old procedures and clearing up matters of the past.”

Hmm..sounds like on track so far..I just need to know which period should I buy every lottery ticket in the market.

Anyways, wishing my friends a blessful, Chinese New Year. I am hitting Bangsar Seafood tonite for some yee sang!

The One

The journey of one’s life never really stops. That is unless she dies and goes down 6 feet down under. Or cremated and have her ashes strewn (for some reason I have this romantic notion that the green ocean of Maldives is the best place to do this).

You have phases in your life. You were born. Grew up. If youre not compatible, you will go through a divorce (some a few divorces), see the kids grew up and become adults themselves. Perhaps somewhere along the way, you would wonder, where is The One? Would I find him? Ever? Or God has destined some people to help others rediscover about themselves and they, will remain single for the rest of their lives?

I have finally found The One in this phase of my life and I thank God for creating this person on earth. Although, our path may not have crossed when we were younger or in the last different phase of our lives, I truly believe that there are reasons for this. Our past life experiences will definitely enrich this journey and hopefully more new ones are created along the way.

I met my best friend, N a few days back over coffee one nice afternoon. She commented that I look radiant, glowing and great! Could this have been the effect of being in love?

I know “you” will read this.

And I have said “Yes” to you!

A Place To Unwind

I dont usually advertise places, services or company names unless its really worth mentioning. On this rare occassions, I am going to write a little bit of this place called Amanrimba (literally translated to peaceful forest) where I had the chance of being hosted by the wonderful caretaker, Intan.

I was with the HR Director of a reputable 5 star chain of hotels to recce places for their upcoming Executive Management retreat. Through some contacts, we were invited to savour a full afternoon of Amanrimba’s hospitality, and that was exactly what we received!

Reaching Janda Baik after a good few minutes drive away from Berjaya Golf and Country Resort Bukit Tinggi, we were picked by Intan at a point somewhere in Bukit Tinggi. We drove through what seems to be an endless narrow roads, passing through small kampung villages, greeneries, fruit orchards, small rivers and the occassional water buffalows and monkeys.

15 minutes passed and we started to slow down a little bit with the driving. I could see a small river running parallel now to the small road we were passing. The water was so clear, thick forests lining up the other side of it. What greeted us after the drive was this Asian inspired entry gate that led up to inviting looking wooden chalets, fruit trees, various garden herbs, a small fishing pond complete with geese, ducks, various birds including peacocks and parrots.

I immediately fell in love with this place. I want to get married here. I want to be with someone here. (later I was told that a garden wedding was held in the resort not too long ago where the father of the bride gave her away from a decorated lanai )

Aptly named Amanrimba, this place offers a hideaway from everything else, it seemed to me, but not too far from the modern trappings. It boasts of free wifi all throughout the property, laptops in the suites,  comfortable beds with linen, the most gorgeous looking open air bathroom (complete with jacuzzi), a small pool and for those who wish to fish, the pond comes with a myriad of fresh water fishes for you to tackle with your rod. I was told that once a year, the Resort would call the villagers to come over and an impromtu fishing fiesta will be held. You can see them catching the fish with fishnets and the proceeds to be distributed to the village folks.

The parrots kept on squawking, “How are you?” each time we passed them.

We were taken to visit all of the wooden chalets (suites). One of the structures was actually the first house the owners built in the property. A typical Malay kampung house but with modern trappings. Airy, inviting, cosy that make you feel you just want to lay down by the long open windows, and sleep.

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Late lunch was served. We could not have asked for a better meal. As the open air seminar cum dining room was occupied by a group from a local university, we were invited to lunch inside their kitchen. The kitchen resembled a small chalet with all sides opened up to allow fresh air to come in. The stainless steel kitchen was spotlessly clean. I was impressed.

Meal was simple kampung styled cooking – steamed white rice, fried fish in soya sauce and chillies, sambal paru (beef lungs), gulai rebung (young bamboo shoots cooked in chilli paste and coconut milk), the obligatory ulam and sambal. Intan had also asked the cook to fry us some bullseye eggs.

The fresh air make my tummy rumbled. The host was hospitable. My HR Director client, her friend Kak Z and I tucked in to the hearty simple meals. Exciting conversations flowed freely. More seconds to the food stations unashamedly. We completed the meals with some coffee.

Satiated, Intan walked us to the nearby small river which happens to be a part of their 3-acre property. The water was cooling and inviting. The river banks were devoid of any garbage or plastic bags. Just trees and more trees that provided cooling shades. The already excited two ladies eagerly plunged in the river. I sat on the rocks and took in the moment.

Later part of the day was spent at one of the suites’ anjung (verandah) that overlooked the fishing pond. The peacocks were making their roundings with their colourful tails well spread boasting their colours. I heard birds chirping. Gentle breeze on my face. We were engaged with conversations again on the planned trip next month. More coffee and pisang goreng (banana fritters) to cap the afternoon session.

We truly didnt want to leave this small heaven.

Alas, 6.30pm, we had to go back to the city and praying that the traffic would be good. Intan generously prepared a few take-away bags for us containing buah bacang (a local breed of mango) that came from the garden.

A perfect day indeed.

Post note: Amanrimba (www.amanrimba.com) is accessible through the Karak Highway via the vibrant small town of Janda Baik  and is about 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city. And no..I was not paid to write all these, just love sharing a beautiful experience with those who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Life Is A Bliss, For A Puss

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bubble The Cat taking in the afternoon sun by lounging on the flower box outside of my bedroom window. From this vantage view, she could see the bungalow lots next door, monkeys and birds that occupy the forest which is just a few hundred meters away from the condo unit and the resident cats downstairs.

The Weekend

The Teenager and I pushed off from Kuala Lumpur on Saturday morning to head for Malacca, one of our favourite cities to be. It was a nice, slow drive, taking in the sceneries and surprisingly the traffic was very good. Did a few pit stops too so therefore the supposedly 2.5 hours drive became longer than that.

This trip was also some sort of a girls getaway weekend where mom-daughter did some bonding together and The Teenager, as usual will whine at being dragged around to some “un-teenager” activities such as antique hunting, river cruise and handicraft bargaining.

We LOVE holidays, no doubt. The idea of a getaway from the city has always excited us. But, thats where the similarities stop, however. My idea of a getaway means exploring the quaint part of a place, window shop for antiques and handicraft, a quiet afternoon on the beach with a book and the sunblock getting nice tan lines, or worse still (in the Teenager’s mind), dragging her high jungle trekking in the middle of the Borneo rainforest and getting acquainted with the leeches and what-nots.

Her definition is pretty simple: take her to a place where there are malls and “options” (she has devised a new name for cute guys…), and she would be a happy on-the-holiday teenager.

Yea, like as if I am going to spend an entire day checking the length of a mall. 

Malacca, being a historical city, has plenty of activities to offer both of us and we had the best of both worlds. We were traipsing Jonker Street like nobody’s business and stopping occassionally at the various cute cafes.

Picked up and hugged a few resident cats while walking back to the hotel as well.

Show Me The Way

A relationship needs to have its course charted, just a like a ship, or a journey, as it is a journey by itself. Otherwise, with no road map then you will be left with your own devise, not sure which way to go, feeling alone and vulnerable.

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The Ugly Malaysians

Against my better judgment, I went to Tesco earlier this evening to return an electrical appliance I bought last month.

But thats not the rant I have in mind today.

Its about The Ugly Malaysians. Yeah. Let me get that right.

THE UGLY MALAYSIANS.

Allow me to demonstrate this ugly side, the real truth, nothing but the real ogre hiding behind all of these seemingly gently people :

Scene 1

The parking was full and so the entrance towards the parking was understandably choked. You need to queue at the turning before reaching the parking machine. I saw the car infront of me going in but had to stop right after the barrier came down. A few seconds past.

Some idiot Ugly Malaysians honked way behind my car, urging me to press the parking machine and going in. How the hell would I be able to do that when the car after the barrier was still not moving?

Scene 2

Patiently, I drove around the parking lot and managed to get a lot. But, not before having to move, not one, not two..but 4 shopping trolleys to the trolley bays which was only like a few feet away.

Some idiot Ugly Malaysians just seems to be blind.

Scene 3

My patience was wearing thin by the time I heaved my rice cooker on the escalator and The Teenager dutifully followed behind. I stood on the left side of the escalator when a family consisting of a mom, dad and a few children brazenly pushed me to the side. The mom’s eyes met with mine, and she just didnt seem to care and walked on. The children were everywhere pushing everyone on the escalator.

I began to curse quietly….

Scene 4

Did the exchange of the appliance. Grabbed a few items from the shelves and began to walk towards one of the cashier counters.

One smartass Ugly Malaysian tried to jump queue by pushing her cart  infront of me, AND diverted her eyes to look straight to the front.

Yea, right.

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I pulled her trolley.

Way.

Back.

To the end of the queue.

And gave her and the husband a look that could kill and gave them a piece of my mind. I walked back to where I stood.

Scene 5

Goods paid. Walked back towards the car. By this time I felt light headed with anger and prayed noone cross my path.

Reached my car. Saw 3 shopping carts placed in front of my car instead of the proper bay. God answered my prayers for not having me seeing who the idiots Ugly Malaysians did this as otherwise he/she would have been fitted in nicely in the shopping cart upside down.

Arghhhhhh!!!

Getting Serious With The Wish List

What can I say about 2009? Cant really predict whats going to happen this year but no point predicting and not taking some pro active actions to make things happen. Just saying so to re affirm myself of my own little self coaching that Ive been doing lately.

Aaaaaaanyways, my wish list has somewhat not changed much. There are a few short term, mid term and long term planning as well to be considered. Funding all these can be quite a challenge as well.

 I still travel to a few places in 2008, though not as far as I had initially planned for, but doesnt really matter. Ive done my bit especially in 2006 and 2007 so 2008 was sort of a breather so to speak.

I had gotten myself acquainted with a new friend  recently via Ecademy and subsequently adding him up to my Facebook.  Ram owns a travel agency in Nepal which specialises treks and eco tourism in the region. The first time I saw his photo albums make my heart soar like a wind! The images were so beautiful and had placed all of what I had planned for the past 3 years into one.nice.box.

An old acquitance who is an expatriate is moving out soon too. He plans to look for a country to settle down and have short listed as UK and Brazil as part of this list. Knowing him, I know he would fit in well in either country. Just yesterday while we were chomping on our favourite lamb chops somewhere in the city, he had offered for a trip of an almost of a life time to Brazil.

Me? To Brazil? Luxuriating on a small boat somewhere in the middle of the Amazons?? 😉

Whoa!! Who could have said no to such offer? 😉

Could things really happened for a reason?