1 Million Youth Gathering @ Putrajaya, And How I Ended The Weekend

My first foray back into the entrepreneurial life started on last Friday. I opened up a makan booth at the 1 Million Youth gathering carnival in Putrajaya. My God, I had never seen so many young people at one place!

The official link to the gathering is here.

 

There were so many people and so many events. The location of my booth was right smack in the middle of two main stages at the Celebrity Village (located at Persiaran Perdana). TM booth was just next door. Naturally the rent was fu@%*$! expensive quite prime considering the traffic the location brought.

No assistant whatsoever to help preparing the food except that George was kind enough to drive me around getting the necessary ingredients and carrying the goods from the kitchen to the car to the tent. Saturday was the craziest day of all. I literally ran out of my mixed-rice within a couple of hours. I ran out of things to sell by 6 pm except for a few sticks of hot dogs. Oh yea! The hot dogs were selling like crazy.

It was nothing fancy. It was a hotdog ala-Ikea. Just a bun, a stick of sausage and I let them choose whatever sauce they wanted. Mustard was something they thought fancy enough to add on a hot dog. I make pretty patterns on the dog – swirls or dots and interlaced with ketchup and mayo.

The mixed rice was a hit as there was no one else selling it around that area. The sambal chicken was selling like hot cakes and so was the sambal sardines. The kampung fried rice went well too.

 

The weather was so hot and humid for the three day event and it was sapping my energy big time. I woke up at around 4.30 am to 5 am every day to cook for about 100 odd servings of mixed rice plus the side dishes. I chose only what I thought would be best sellers such as sambal ayam, sambal ikan, chicken stew, fried eggs, a few types of vegetables, tempe goreng, fried sausages with ketchup, nasi goreng kampung, a couple types of fried noodles.

In the early afternoon, I would take out the steamer and prepped for my hot dog and sandwich corner. Simple sandwiches – tuna, eggs and sardines.

My old friend, Shida, opened up her stall too selling the best roselle juice in town! She was kept busy with good customers including moi.

Woke up this morning (or rather at noon) with an aching body and tired feet. I am so going for a body massage in the next few days so that the brain can be properly tuned to the next projects in the pipeline.

R.I.P. Furby (aka Patches), Our Old Girl

When God Made Cats

When God made the world, He chose to put animals in it, and decided to give each whatever it wanted. All the animals formed a long line before His throne, and the cat quietly went to the end of the line. To the elephant and the bear He gave strength, to the rabbit and the deer, swiftness; to the owl, the ability to see at night, to the birds and the butterflies, great beauty; to the fox, cunning; to the monkey, intelligence; to the dog, loyalty; to the lion, courage; to the otter, playfulness. And all these were things the animals begged of God.

At last he came to the end of the line, and there sat the little cat, waiting patiently. “What will YOU have?” God asked the cat. The cat shrugged modestly. “Oh, whatever scraps you have left over. I don’t mind.”

“But I’m God. I have everything left over.”

“Then I’ll have a little of everything, please.”

And God gave a great shout of laughter at the cleverness of this small animal, and gave the cat everything she asked for, adding grace and elegance and, only for her, a gentle purr that would always attract humans and assure her a warm and comfortable home.

But he took away her false modesty. ….…Lenore Fleischer

~~~~0~~~~

May 25, 2011

Our beloved Furby passed away at approximately 9.00 pm. We found her on the porch, body still warm. Most probably she had an accident nearby the house but, being a stubborn old girl, still walked back to the house to die.

Furby had an attitude. The “I dont give a shit” attitude that only an old cat could have. We called it the Furby Attitude.

“You got a Furb”, was most likely we tend to say.

This old girl would took her own sweet time to walk to the food bowl. Or when crossing the small road in front of our home. Never mind the cars that had to stop and wait for her to cross.

The Teenager found this curious cat about 8 years ago when we were still living at the old condo. She was walking back home from the pool when a cat followed her home. The Teenager showed her to me and we all fell in love with her smooth and beautiful body markings. Plus that gorgeous eyes and bushy tail. The next day we decided to give her a bath but she refused to allow me to touch her tail. We found out why. I realized that a couple of inches of her tail was matted with dried blood. I cleaned it up only to reveal exposed tail bones, and small maggots crawling out from the wound.

One week at the vet and close to a thousand ringgit poorer, we took our new baby home and she decided to adopt us. The vet suspected that someone might have caused the injury to her. Initially we thought she would almost lost the tail as the vet had wanted to cut it off. The injury was quite bad. But then, looking at the rest of the bushy, pretty tail, it was almost a crime to cut it off and we decided that the vet should try to save the tail. She did.

Furby brought so much joy to our lives. She didn’t really bother anyone or anything. She just did her things and looked cute for everyone. The one thing she loved to do was to give  me one big massage on the chest and a few minutes after, would fall asleep. Man….could she sleep…..with drools coming out. Tongue sticking out.

As she gets older, she tends to sleep more than anything. Except that sometimes she liked to walk out from the house compound checking out the squirrels from the nearby park. There was one time she came back meowing so loud on the porch. It was quite odd actually because she never was a very vocal kitty cat. When I looked out, I saw her whole body was covered with what looked like water from the white wash or paint. Most probably she ventured out to the nearby house which was under renovation and fell into a bucket containing water from the painter’s white wash brush.

That affected her eyes and her beautiful coat fell off in clumps for many weeks. My poor Furby…

Then her health just got better and she became the old Furb again, except the eyes never got really healed as they tend to water easily. George and Furby had a love-hate relationship. The hate relationship part came in as dear old girl had no guilt whatsoever whenever she had minor accidents in the hall. The I-Dont-Give-A-Shit attitude, remember?

We buried her the same night in the garden, underneath the rambutan trees where she used to sleep in the afternoons. I hope she would like it there. The squirrels came back the other day and they were playing among the shrubs nearby her grave. The wind chimes rattled with the gentle breeze. The rest of the furbabes were in the garden too on most days as if knowing that she was buried there.

You are missed by the family, Furb. I miss you much, my old girl.

Rest in peace and may you get to eat all the wet food that you so loved across the rainbow bridge.

I Am Leaving The Corporate World, Hello Again Self Employment

 

In the next few days I will be leaving the corporate world. I cant believe that it has been several years – 4 years or so- that I have entered into the corporate world. And now I will be back being self employed.

 

 (The above picture with the team was taken on the last day of work. From left, Farhan, Lina, me, Galaxic and Jeff)

It took me a while to make this decision. It was a very difficult one so to speak, as I love what I do. Nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to match the need of an employer to the need of a candidate. I told my team that my philosophy is simple – whoever that walks through that door, we will try to place them somewhere.

Well, at this phase and age, I have decided to go back to what I had done before and had tasted the honey. And I have done it again and again. Insyaallah I will do it again.

(The APAC team from the Global Solutions & Support)

There are plenty of plans in the pipeline and they are all extremely exciting. The possibilities are endless, it is just so amazing.

The funny thing is, my usual stress headaches are gone…hahaha…and beat this, I have actually lost 5 kg in the past many weeks!

Great Food On Earth

I am alternating between this blog and my FB discussing the merits of what constitute of the great food on earth. Now, depending on your ethnicity and the way you have been brought up, there can be many variations to this.

As many people know, I have been brought up in a kampung where the nearest toilet used to be about ten minutes walk to the nearest river. And that, you need to cross this semi jungle, then another short walk among the rubber trees. Mind you, after arriving at the small river, you need to check whether is there anyone else using that part of the river to do their business. Because if they do, then you need to wait for your turn. Now, if you really cannot stand the ahem…nature call..you need to turn back and make a dash to the other river which passes another semi jungle. I really hated going to the other river as there was usually a kampung dog (a mutt) who will be a sentry along the route. Not only I had to make a mad dash for the nature call, but I had to outrun this dog too.

Imagine if you really need to go at night. And to make things worse, if it rains. You certainly want to make a mental note to self to go and do your bloody business before the sun sets.

Anyways, I digress.

So, the great food on earth. I have a few. The list goes like this, and in random order, although the usual suspects will be on top of the list….

  • Masak asam tempoyak ikan patin (river patin cooked in fermented durian). This, will remain an all time favourite. The soup must be just right…the right amount of chili, tempoyak (fermented durian) and balance of the soup.
  • Sadin mentah (canned sardins). Straight from the can and onto the plate. You squeeze half a lime, sliced chili and quartered Bombay onions. Pair it with steamed rice. Definitely my last meal on earth if ever. I will eat sardines in many style of cooking – gulai (cooked in coconut milk), curry, sambal…mmm..yes yes..
  • Sambal petai tempoyak campur pucuk ubi kayu (stinky beans and young shoots of tapioca plant cooked with fermented durian and chili, sambal style). The ever so beautiful dish that I can write some pretty lyrical description of its taste.
  • Sambal hitam (black sambal). This deceiving looking sambal – a lethal combination of dried anchovies, asam belimbing buluh (a kind of sour fruit), onions and tons of chilis. You pound all the ingredients and cook with the asam belimbing buluh. It is cooked when it turns to black. Mmmmmmmm…………pure bliss.
  • Pincuk umbut kelapa (salad of err…hmm…I dont know how to put it…) basically umbut kelapa is the top end part of a coconut tree where it is still soft. You need to boil it, then slice thinly before adding the rest of the ingredients that typically made up of grated coconut, lime, coconut milk, some local herbs, crushed black pepper. Served during weddings.
  • Ayam masak asam rong (chicken cooked with asam rong). Asam rong or buah keluak as the Chinese called it, is a rare jungle fruit. Unfortunately, I really love the dish and it is a difficult dish to find. Unless I go back to Raub with the 2 hour drive, brave the morning Sunday market crowd looking around for it, drive for a good 2 hours back to KL. By that time, I would be too poop to cook. This is a real masterpiece of a recipe. Small chunks of chicken meat are simmered slowly in a mixture of local jungle herbs, chili, pounded asam rong. I love adding petai (the stinky beans) for a better kick.
  • Sambal kerdas cambah (kerdas is another kind of fruit which is really stinky. Scientifically called archidendron bubalinum). Again the ever popular cooking style – sambal.

Owh, did I mention that I also love Japanese food, my medium well steak, lamb stew, Arabic food, any Mediterranean food, Mexican food, Spanish…fish and chips, Chinese food, Korean food and almost everything else in between?

Great stuff!

Life Is Short, So What Are You Going To Do About It?

I was mulling over an apt title for this blog today as I have so much of things to say. And so I thought about the real message that I want to share.

That life is short.

A family friend passed on recently after a bout of sickness.

Someone’s father passed on a few weeks ago too after being ill for a long time. He could not even recognize his own son towards the end.

I recalled of a certain someone who had been in his job for like decades and never really liked it. He was doing the work because that was the only thing he knew.

Real life stories of dramas, anguish and trails of broken hearted individuals who stayed on in relationships that failed them time and again. They stayed on because of the children and for the fear of not making it on their own.

Someone I knew told me days ago that he wishes that he has my guts to do what I have done in my life before. I told him that not all risks are worth it, and not all challenges you should take. You need to ask yourself what do you want in life? What do I gain from doing all these? Can I live with this decision? If yes, for how long? If not, what are the next steps?

Some people are so caught up in every day’s dramas that they forget who they are and their social obligations to be connected with the people around them – their families, friends and colleagues. And they become biatches of all times.