We’ve Only Just Begun

I didnt understand this song when I heard it many years ago, but now I do.

15 months to the date since we first got to know each other. I wasnt looking for any potential partner at that time. Traumatic divorce tends to do that to a person. You yearn for friendship and companionship but you dont want to be with someone for the sake of being with someone. I know there are a lot of women out there who have gone down this path, and ended up regretting that very decision.

The life has been so focused on raising a teenager who herself has gone through a difficult time adjusting. It didnt help that I was also going through my own life’s adjustment, fighting the demons in me and still trying to retain the sanity.

In my mind, to find a potential partner who is also a best friend, companion, mate, partner, soul mate is like trying to look for a dragon, Lock Ness monster or a leprechaun. Everyone has heard about them, talked about them. Heck! There are even stories about them, complete with the images. But has anyone really seen them? Some people claimed they have, some dismissed it as mere fairy tale.

Only romances in fairy tales ended up as the Prince and Princess live happily ever after. That is after the Prince has travelled the seven continents, slay the dragons, and all of these time, the Princess was busy fighting evil witches, waiting for her Prince.

But, my fairy tale did come true. Although it has just started, it has been a worthwhile wait. The 15 months wait, with all the across-the-continents travelling by my husband, the 14 hours time difference challenge, fighting the lonely days and difficult times….

Finally, the long wait is over. He is here now. And, as The Carpenter’s song goes, we’ve only just begun.

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Cooking For The Sick

Today I had to pay a visit to the doctor. This terrible headache and floaty feeling have been bugging me to no end for the past couple of weeks. I kept on thinking about that two glasses of red wine that I had during the last annual dinner. I know that I have a few triggers and so it could have been it.

140/100. That was what the blood pressure monitor said. I was a walking time bomb!

About 19 years ago I walked into Dr Goh’s clinic who was my O&G. It was suppose to be a monthly routine as I had a few more weeks to go before the baby was due. The pregnancy had been a difficult one. I was hospitalized  so many times due to so many complications that I exausted all of my medical and annual leave. But that morning felt different. My legs were swollen like an elephant’s and the headache was unbearable. I felt floaty. As I lay down on the medical bed, I thought my belly looked as if it was going to burst.

160/140. That was my BP on that morning. For one moment, I was thinking about my appointments in the office for the rest of day. The next moment, I was wheeled out from the doctor’s suite to be prepared for a C-section.

The BP never did go away completely even after close to 19 years of giving birth.

So, today, I cooked something simple and not too heavy. Cant do much with a bigger-than-an elephant headache than to just cook something quick, simple and edible.

Congee

The Village Bicycle

No, I wasnt talking about the real bicycle, but more of an analogy.

I have not blogged about single-dom for a long time. Not ever since I met the love of my life and marrying him. But tonight’s tv series, “Samantha Who?” brought back some old thoughts. The tv series had its characters sorting out some intimate sex and trust issues. One the characters was dating this guy and she told him that she had not had sex for 5 years. She couldnt find a good enough reason to sleep with anyone during those years. He told his friends about her and it became such a big joke.

He just gave her a reason for her not to sleep with him.

I really dont know what other people’s opinion on this. I guess each to their own. However, I do know what she (the tv character) meant. I have seen friends, women and men alike, who change partners as if they change shoes. Every weekend is looked upon as hunting weekend, prowling places to hook up with someone. KL is not exactly big like New York. It gets intensely uncomfortable, at least to me, when I have a few of these acquitances in the same room knowing everyone has boinked each other at some point or another.

There has always this fear in me being the locker room topic, so to speak. Or like the village bicycle which everyone had ridden on. And talk about the experience. The handles are a tad long. Rear tyre needs more air. Bell not ringing as loud. Wrong colour on the body. Stuff like that. And everyone seems to know something about this bicycle.

I have issues with locker room topics, and I surely have issues in trust too. Religion and being old-school aside, I just think that there are so many other things that could really make me being attracted to someone. Being able to piece out words together to form coherent and intelligent sentences is a real turn on. My husband has the ability to do exactly that and that was one of the things that make me so attracted to him.

Before we were married, being far apart at 10,000 miles away gave us the opportunity to get to know each other better in other areas and not letting physical attraction get in the way. In a lot of relationships, physical attractions have almost always play a role in blinding issues when by right they should be addressed.

A friend recently confessed of her inability to stay exclusive to one person. She just couldnt bring herself to do so. Fear of commitment? Sounds like it. Did she have bad experiences with possesive partners. Apparently so. To her, if she comits, then she would lose herself and her ability to be free. Free to do whatever she wants and with anyone she wants.

Makes sense to me, at least for a nano second.

The next second onward it just lost me.

Toxic People

The Teenager and I just got back from watching the movie “The Tooth Fairy” starring hunky “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson. (By the way, he has awesome, clean looking teeth.) In the story, Dwayned played Derek Thompson an arrogant faded-star hockey player who was turned into a tutu-wearing tooth fairy.

While watching, it reminded me how we sometimes feeling all drained out after being with certain kind of people. They just sapped the energy out of you. I call them toxic people. They are perpetual bunch of negative people, let me tell you. Negative about anything and everything about themselves and the world around them. Every little thing scares the shit out of them. They refuse to come out from their cocoon of comfort. Opportunities are seen as threats to bring them down. Toxic people exist in your office; they can even be someone in your family or your friends.

I have encountered toxic people one too many times in my life. I climbed Mount Kinabalu right after I finished my SPM way back in the 80’s. The guy I was dating then just had no idea why I had to climb a mountain when “everyone else is busy dating out”. I told him “because it is there”.

Somewhere along the years, I have done some crazy stuff (not drug induced stuff mind you) but the fact remains that because either “it is there, or because I can, or because opportunities arises”. Any which, I figured why limiting yourself when you can?

(More) Places To Visit Before I Kick The Bucket

Ive blogged on the places that I’d love to visit and things that I’d want to do before I kick the bucket. To be at the Shangri-La of the world still tops apart from performing haj, God willing.

Time flies and I kept on adding new places/things.

Malaysia And Reflecting On A Sunday

First, there was the tsunami in 2004. It came with no warning, swallowing everything that came in its path. Hundreds of thousands were either missing or dead. Families of a few generations just perished in one day.

And just a few days back, the headline screamed of countless dead bodies and unaccounted missing people who were buried beneath the rubbles of collapsed buildings in Haiti during a recent earthquake.

I thank God that Malaysia is nowhere near any epicenter of earthquake, or sits in the volcano ring as in the Philipines. Natural disaster such as typhoon is never heard of although flood is pretty common in the East Coast and East Malaysia. I have always said that you can never really die out of hunger in Malaysia.

And yet, are we thankful for what we have in our country?

As George and I  went for our walk one Sunday not too long ago, he pointed out things that I took for granted simply because I see them everyday. The amazing looking Petronas Twin Tower for instance. Or the world-class triple lane that led us to one of our trips out of the city. The various international-class cuisines which are readily available in about every corner of the city, the upmarket housing areas spread all over Klang Valley and all the latest cars and gadgets of every imaginable designs and colours one could imagine. Just one look at Plaza Low Yatt’s IT and mobile center in Bukit Bintang will make you think how sophisticated life is in Malaysia. A drive through Sri Hartamas, Taman Tun Dr Ismail or Bangsar will make you wonder how lucky Malaysians are that they are able to own properties worth millions of ringgit. Just check out the Mid Valley Megamall and you will wonder when does the Malaysians stop shopping?

Newspapers and various mediums of mass media thrive with what just reported that there are 6.2 millions of Malaysians are connected to Facebook. Just recently, Malaysia was also voted as one of the top 10 in the world for a country to retire, just falling short behind Singapore.

And yet, despite all of these, we whine and whine about how other countries have better benefits. Oh! How freedom of speech are better exercised. They sulked at the Government when ISA was not going to be abolished and when the recent religion turmoil cropped up recently, these were the same people who wanted to have ISA be used to control the crisis.

Part of my work involve in bridging the relationship between the organization that I work with and Government ministries and Government linked companies. My department is the main contact point for any information with regards to the related companies. In able for me to do an effective job, it is pertinent for me to understand the Government policies and how its machineries work. The more I study them, the more I am aware of how lucky I am to be here, in this very country, where although despite its flaws here and there, I can never die out of hunger, or needing to build underground shelters to avoid typhoons, or grief over missing family members after an earthquake.

As I drive out from my home and passing by the Pakcik who sells the nasi lemak, there is a long queue of people of various races waiting to buy from him. The buses are packful of commuters going to their work of place. Cruising the Jalan Parlimen, I can see the looming cityscape beyond the downhill drive. The roads are choke with vehicles of various makers. No fear of war, or bomber planes, no fear of lunatic, suicide bombers.

As I type this, the TV is on a live telecast (hosted by Dr Azhari Ismail and someone that I didnt get her name) of the happenings in Haiti. A few callers called in saying on how this happened because of God’s way of showing how “angry” He was with the kaffirs and He was showing his powers by killing these people.

I find this kind of thinking by Muslims very disturbing. How can God who is what we have been taught as compassionate be going on a punishing spree? Does that mean that the people of Acheh of which place are known as the “Anjung Mekah” have been mungkar bunch of people and God had punish them with the tsunami? Some were expressing their displeasure by the assistance that came from the Americans, Canadians, Australians and the French? Why are they so prejudiced against the humanitarian assistance from all these countries? When there are so many thousands die, these people are so busy “melaluk-laluk gila” (ranting).

Who are we to say that we are much better than these people? Isnt that “riak”, a trait that God says to stay away from?

The Young Grandparents

I just wanted to share this lovely photo of my step-daughter, Gina. Seen here with her kiddies, Jake and George Robert (GR). Cutie Jake is 2 and GR is 2 months old and growing fast.

All have the Bohlender eyes.

George and I have always been given that look whenever we say that we have grandchildren.

A Good January And Reminiscing

The new year started off in a good tune and in a couple of weeks, it will be new year no more. Not quite, anyway. It has been busy few weeks for me, what with the business plannings and also preparing for the company’s annual dinner. I have never worked with a company who takes on preparing for their annual dinner as serious as this. Every activity is planned meticulously like a clock work. Everyone seems to have something to do and didnt even mind staying back on most days.

On top of that, there is the singing competition. I never thought that my entry of Valentine by Martina McBride got me a place as one of the three finalists. The bigger surprise was when The Boss handed over an envelope containing a minus-one CD containing Mylee Cyrus’s The Climb.

Oh my God!!

The final will be on this week’s Friday during the annual dinner. It doesnt help that I got the minus-one and lyrics on last Saturday. Remembering lyrics to teenager’s song isnt exactly in this year’s plan. Well, help came in a form of a singing class, thanks to The Boss who was gracious enough to pay all three finalists’ slots this week.

I have sung for money before when I was a lot younger. I was in the East Coast at that time. It somehow had gotten me to earn some pocket money and to have a bit of fun on stage. The band was called The 7 Stones. I knew someone would ask me, “WTF???”. Yeah, I dont blame you.

Anyways, there were 4 of us.  A few months down the road, the bassist went missing. He got hauled up by the police for drug abuse. Then the drummer had decided to quit the band, cut his hair short and worked at a nearby resort. That left only me as the lead singer and the keyboardist.

We moonlighted in the evenings at the golf course club performing to some Datuks, VIPs and a royalties. Day time was spent at my small boutique by the beach, selling batik wear to beach lovers.

But some good things must come to an end. Rani the keyboardist and I parted ways when he decided to move to another state and marry his girlfriend.

The experience at the singing class today was awesome. Jordon the singing instructor was most patient with me while I fumbled with the chorus, skipping a few beats and cues. Despite his sorethroat, he sang along with me like a real pro.

Earlier in the office, the colleagues were busy practising to the tune of Abba’s Waterloo.

In a couple of weeks’ time, George will be back home. Words cant describe my exitement.

January has been good so far.

Of My Religion, The Malays And My Country

For the past few days, the news have been bombarded with unsavoury pictures of Muslim extremists all over the world. On home ground, a few churches were burnt by arsonists. For some reason, noone claimed responsibility for this act of stupidity and cowardness.

What is wrong with these pictures below?

I cannot identify for the life of me reading how my faith that preaches peace has been labelled as promoting the beheadings of innocent people? Child bombers are celebrated.

It is a wonder why would Muslims want to move a few steps backward as oppose to others who are reaching out to learn what the universe has to offer.

A friend was relating a story when her spouse, who at one time was working on a project, was with a group of officials to Thailand for a “business trip”. The trip involved some special meetings with ladies of the night and I am sure they were busy discussing some outcums. A few hours of busy negotiating new terrains of the foreign land, all drained out, they came out hungry.

Hungry tummies called for substantial food. And since they are not familiar with the area, they had to ask around where to get halal food.

Now, wasnt that an irony? They were busy humping earlier with women who were clearly not their wives, and they came out looking for halal food?

A lady headmistress who wore hijjab came to me sometime years ago and told me how I have shamed my religion and my race for wearing a business attire in her school. I was with my daughter at that time. She obviously picked a wrong person to battle her bitchiness that morning. I told her she didnt have to right to wear the hijjab as she herself had disgraced the religion by bringing embarassment to another person. And right infront of my daughter.

As time goes and as I meet so many people, I find that the Malay Muslims have become more hypocrite in their outlook of life.

Last July, my husband pointed out to an article where the Chairman of a committee of a certain mosque had written to the Editor of a local newspaper. In essence, his letter was saying that all non Malays should be banned from Malaysia and that all these white devils are up to no good simply because they are not Muslim.

My husband’s good intention of walking the full 10 minutes to perform his prayers over at that mosque was stopped after reading this. He opted to go elsewhere. I was embarassed and had to swallow the fact that there are those who holds position of good power and yet surprisingly a total religion tolerance challenged.