Monday, December 31, 2007


1.(Akan cuba sedaya upaya) untuk menambah berat badanKu

2.Mencari pekerjaan yang heBat daN yangKu minati

3.Menambah (banyak2) buah-buahan dalam pemakanan seharianKu

4.Mencari lebih banyak kawan baRuKu

5.Meluangkan lebih banyak masa dengan kawan2Ku yang dah lama berkenalan

6.Tidak menilai begitu serius hubunganKu dengannya. Masa bujangKu masih jauh panjang lagi :)

Geez, my Malay shucks! Ok lah, last resolusi :-

7.Mengusahakan kepetahan Bahasa MelayuKu…ye la, aku ni anak Malaysia sejati!

whAt a LauGh!!

What did the hotelier give his girlfriend of 2 years for a X’mas gift?

A mini baby blue bolster.

You heard that right…


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Chicken or pox? Take your pick

It all started with a pain in my right armpit. Feeling a tiny lump beneath the skin, I thought of it as another annoying pimple. Then a few spots appeared on my back and chest. Mum brushed it off as some insect bite…until when a big watery blister-like spot materialized on my chin. That’s when I started to panic. I’ve never encountered any watery blisters all my life and was dubious regarding the whereabouts of this unfamiliar little thing growing out of my body. Fortunately, the ‘attack’ only officially started after the women’s health campaign which me and Mum had painstakingly made preparations for the past few weeks. My bestie, who was the only one out of my invitation list who made it to the campaign, later on told me that she noticed a suspicious spot which resembled chicken pox on my chin (the one I was talking about). Like me, she also thought that it was another big pimple, and so did not tell me about it.

Anyway! The day after the campaign, I felt that the spots were becoming more and more itchier, and Mum decided to take me to the clinic to confirm the illness. It was confirmed allright, the Doc himself told me that he instantly knew that I had chicken pox the moment I walked into the room. I felt relieved and flabbergasted at the same time. Relieved because it did not break out while I was in uni doing major assignments or worse, taking major exams, and that it did not occur in the future where I’ll be doing my first full-time job. On the other hand, I was flabbergasted as I was planning to go X’mas window shopping that week (Lame excuse, I know!) and that X’mas and New Year are just few weeks away. Everyone knows that it’ll take ages for a person to heal out of chicken pox (Which means no partying!) even though the Doc told me that it’ll only take 5-10 days to recover. Now, every illness has its own pantang which are brought down by our ancestors. Let’s see, there’s the (1) cannot kena angin warning (no fans and air-con), (2) cannot shower for 3 days or until when the spots have appeared on the palms of your hands, (3) Foods such as kicap (soya sauce), seafood, eggs, sour food eg mango, peanuts etc are banned from consumption, and of course (4) you can’t go out or else you’ll spread the disease to someone else. The Doc advised me not to adhere to all that, but follow HIS advice instead, which are: (1) shower (including washing your hair) as much as u like, and (2) eat anything u want. Basically, he’s asking me to behave like u’re living the normal, healthy life. All the pantang, according to his opinion, are completely BULLISH. Being the modern girl, I decided to go along with his way except for one tinny part: I’m still not confident about the kicap thing and will avoid it until I’m fully recovered (Pity though, ‘cos I really adore kicap. I even can eat it with rice alone!) Beside the short and simple advice, the Doc gave me another simple rule: NO SCRATCHING. Well, I guess I can tolerate that. As a victim of teenage and young adult acne, I’ve had the complete training and discipline of never picking my pimples even if they are ever-oh-so tempting to be picked at.

When we went back home, I had a look at our family health encyclopedia on what chicken pox is all about. As I quote, “ A common and mild infectious disease of childhood, characterized by a rash and slight fever. It is sometimes called varicella. Chickenpox is rare in adults; when it does occur it usually takes a more severe form.” Mum once told me that I had measles when I was a baby, and from then on I always hoped that she was wrong and it was chickenpox instead (so that I don’t have to go through the sickening situation later on). Looks like I was wrong. 24 year-olds like me can still get it, so you guys out there, you can never get away with chickenpox even if you’re an adult. You gotta catch it at least once in a lifetime. My 28 year-old cousin just got hers last year. Okay, back to Medical Lesson 101, below are more info on the undeniable disease:

INCIDENCE AND CAUSE: The disease is caused by varicella-zoster virus. Although an attack confers lifelong immunity, the virus remains dormant within nerve tissues after the attack and may reappear later in life to cause shingles. The virus is spread from person to person in airborne droplets. Patients are highly infectious from about two days before the rash appears until about a week after. Women in the final stage of pregnancy should be particularly careful, since the disease may be serious in pregnancy and the newborn child may develop a severe attack.

SYMPTOMS: Two to three weeks after infection, a rash appears behind the ears, in the armpits, on the trunk, upper arms, and legs, inside the mouth, and sometimes in the trachea (windpipe) and bronchial tubes, causing a dry cough. The rash comes in crops appearing after 12 to 48 hours and consists of clusters of small, red, itchy spots that become fluid-filled blisters within a few hours. After several days the blisters dry out and form scabs. Children usually have only a slightly raised temperature, but an adult may have severe pneumonia with breathing difficulties and fever.

DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT: In most cases, rest is all that is needed for a complete recovery, which usually takes place within 10 days in children, but over a longer period in adults. Paracetamol can be taken to reduce fever, and calamine lotion relieves the itchiness of the rash.

In my case, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th day happened to be the worst days in this unforgettable experience (suicidal stage). Ugly spots kept on appearing everywhere (especially my face), they were so unbearably itchy, and I got so weak and sleepy even though I had not done any activity. I was so weak I can’t even fold my clothes nicely! I lost my appetite and could only gulp down half a plate of rice. The least desirable everyday routine that I had to go through was taking a shower. I know, I know, taking a shower is cooling and is good to wash away the toxins on my skin. But to even touch the soft and red blisters on my skin made me felt so geli (disgusted). It’s so…eeeeeeeuwww!! Many times I restrained myself from scraping them with my fingernails. And when it comes to washing my face, ugh, it took me 15 minutes to clean them every time. I was particularly careful with my face ‘cos I don’t want to end up Ms. Scar Face of the year. Oh, and I had many sleepless nights too, no thanks to all the itching. There was one night where I changed my sleeping location 3 times: Mum’s bedroom floor, Mum’s sofa, and finally, ended up in my bed. Gosh, that was one helluva experience. It’s my 9th day now. The itch has gone, my spots are drying up, my face is looking better, and my appetite’s back. But it’ll take probably a month for the spots to really clear up. And I heard my niece got the pox too (from me, maybe?) and she should be in the nightmarish stage now. Good luck to her in combating her spots!

Oh God, how I missed all the sinfully yummy food. Nasi lemak, mango pickle, pizza, steamed prawns, fried squid, fish head curry. Ah well, I just need to be patient now.

And chickenpox is history.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

What Makes Bad Boyfriend Material? The Top 10 Reasons

Have you experience this in your current relationship? :

(1)He thinks it’s not necessary to voice out (or sms) a simple greeting of ‘Happy Birthday’ or ‘Happy Anniversary’ to you during the special occasion as he adopts the ‘I know, and you know so we don’t need to say it’ theory. And if you demand from him on why can’t he make such a simple gesture, he’ll just shrug and said, ‘I planned to tell you later baby, it’s meant to be a surprise.’ (Oh for God’s sake. Lamest excuse I’ve ever heard) Worse, he expects YOU to say it to him first.

(2)He also thinks that ‘going out for dinner’ is the only option to celebrate your birthday, anniversary etc. He’ll cringe and moan and whine when you ask for a mini spa package as a present or anything that’s more than a 100 bucks. (Birthdays is like what…once a year??) How much did he spend on booze? More like 200 a month.

(3)He sms you the same old message everyday, it’s becoming a normal routine for both you. For example, ‘What you doing, baby?’, ‘Taken your lunch/dinner, baby?’, ‘Take your shower, darling?’, ‘Goodnight darling, love you’ etc. And you’ll reply with the same old, ‘Yup, taken lunch already. U?’. Gee, be more creative, guys :p

(4)If you complain to him that he doesn’t spend much time with you anymore, he’ll go all defensive and says, ‘C’mon baby, I’ve got a job here. I’ve got work to do. Can’t you just be more understanding?’ Okay, you can tolerate that. But when he has his free time, he ends up meeting up with his friends, playing futsal with his colleagues, playing video games with his best pals, or just plain sleeping in his bed. Where does that leave you and when do you get to see him? Oh, perhaps when you need his help in changing the light bulb which is too high for your reach, and brief pizza dinners which take place less than 5 times a month. When you were hoping for catching a romantic movie together after the quick pizza dinner, he straight away takes you home as he has to ‘complete his monthly report’.

(5)He doesn’t ‘come to your rescue’ that frequent anymore. In the beginning of the relationship, he will offer to accompany you at home even when there is a blackout no matter how busy he is. Now, he won’t even bother to offer moral support when your car breaks down late at night and you’re left alone on the streets. When you call him, he’ll say, ‘Oh honey, I’m still at my colleague’s farewell party. Call up XX, he’ll help you sort out.’ Then, he won’t even bother to check on you on whether there is someone there to help, or whether the car’s already being repaired….until the next day. And when he did ask, he doesn’t even act concerned about it.

(6)He’s becoming more ignorant about your presence, safety, and dignity. He doesn’t think it’s wrong to get himself totally pissed in front of your relatives, especially your parents, during certain occasions. He’ll puke all over the toilet floor (even in the living room), and shamelessly sleep on the sofa ‘till near midnight. Who gets the blame? You, you, you! People will start whispering, ‘Oh my, she’s dating an alcoholic. What a pity.’ Some will give you a scolding right in front of your face. What can you do? No choice but to take care of the useless being in case he’ll do something more embarrassing. You know it’s becoming worse when HIS parents give you a lecture of ‘not making much effort on taking care of him’. Excuse me, whose child is it? Who’s responsibility is it? Another scenario would be when he takes you to his relative’s wedding. He gets so pissed he can’t even drive you back home and his parents had to drive the car instead. And you? You have to find alternative ways in going back (aka cari kereta orang tumpang). AND when you confront him about it, either he’ll go all defensive again, ‘Hey baby, it’s not me. The guys made me drink. How can I refuse? They’ll hate me for that’, or he’ll go all out to ask for your forgiveness and promised not to repeat his wrongdoing again. Well, guess what? He did it again the next occasion…and the next as well.

(7)He thinks it’s perfectly unnecessary to reply your sms or calls when he’s out of credit. He even made you wait a whole day to eventually reply. He’s got a thousand options he can choose from which made you think how can senseless can he be for not even ponder on it? For starters, he can use his friend’s handphone, or the office (just a quick, ‘sorry baby, i’m out of credit) phone, or the public phone, or the house phone etc etc.

(8)He doesn’t like to do shopping with you anymore. Instead of helping you to choose out a nice blouse for work, he’d wait outside the shop chatting with his friends, and keeps on asking, ‘Found the blouse, honey?’ every 3 minutes. And he’ll keep on checking his watch, as if he has the whole world waiting for him to do something major, like creating world peace.

(9)He won’t think twice before saying something which poses as really sensitive issues for some people. For example, he’ll say directly to your face, ‘Babe, I’m not going to convert into your religion if we get married. Or else I wouldn’t want to get married at all.’ Worse, he’ll say something like this, ‘Babe, the other day my parents told me if we were to get married, you must get out of your religion first.’ What is this? Belum kahwin dah cakap banyak. That is soooo one-sided, most unfair of all unfairness. Who do they think you are? Some kind of mongrel coming from a crap background? And who do they think they are to judge you like that? You should ask his parents a question: ‘Excuse me, uncle and aunty, who’s having a relationship with me here? You or your son? Who does the decision here? You or your son?’

(10)And the WORST scenario of all these scenarios? He doesn’t think that by doing all the above, is his wrongdoing. Basically, he doesn’t think it’s his fault for all the happenings.

Well, you there, if you do experience more than 5 of the above, it’s time to stop crying all over your pillows every night and just dump him with IMMEDIATE effect. You don’t deserve him ‘cos you’re more worthy of what he thinks of you. You’ve got your dignity to uphold, baby.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

birthday mummy (still) lookin' good!

When it comes to birthdays, I’m usually stuck with the big question of WHAT present to give. Back to the basics, it’s either flowers, teddies, perfumes, jewelries, cosmetics or anything ‘girlish’ for the gals, and jerseys, high-tech gadgets, neckties, cuff links, hankies, cologne sets, music CDs, and books for the guys. To be on the safe side (indirectly meaning that either you’re too lazy to pick a gift or you really have zero idea on what the birthday person wants), some common gift examples come in the form of cold, hard (and new) money bills, dinner reservation at a hip restaurant/bistro, a whole night of partying, or going to the movies with all your best pals. To me, the most effective and fabulous present you could ever give to a person is something that he/she is really into or wishes to have desperately. For example, I know my good friend Suki is the type of girl who loves to be pampered. I can see this from her collection of expensive body lotions e.g. Crabtree & Evelyn, and her stock of home-made body scrub (which smells super yummy!). So when I gave her a card which said that she’ll get a free treat of French manicure from me, she was ecstatic and told me that it was the most unique gift she ever received. Simple to make a loved one happy, isn’t it? The key is to know what the person likes and from there be creative to create your own ‘customized’ gift especially for your friend/relative/parent/beloved. If you’re not sure about his/her liking, just go ahead and ASK! It wouldn’t hurt to enquire and I’m sure the birthday person will feel more touched as this shows your efforts in choosing the right gift for him/her.

Anyway, getting a gift for my mum (her birthday was last week!) wasn’t that hard. I knew for sure that she simply adored (1) teddies and dolls (you heard that right!), and (2) pretty flowers neatly arranged in a bouquet. After giving some thought, I decided to make a flower bouquet myself for her. As you all know, bouquets made by florists have always been unbelievably pricey. During my 5-day flower arranging course which was organized the previous month, my instructor told me that florists can make profits up to RM50 per bouquet! And since I have some basic of bouquet-making, I went with the idea of DIY. Mum loves white roses or anything white, so I started a search in Donggongon town (flowers are sold much cheaper there than in KK!) for white flowers. At the same time, weddings were conducted almost everyday for that period and flowers were selling really fast. In the end, I managed to get some white, orangey-pinkish, and yellow roses, and a bunch of greens to achieve that ‘full bouquet’ effect. That night, it took just a few hours to create a simple but beautiful bouquet of flowers (for experts it’ll just take less than half an hour of their time). Before hitting the hays, I placed the bouquet carefully on a chair which faced Mum’s bed so that when she wakes up, the first thing she’ll notice is the flowers. Indeed, she did notice them the next day along with the lovely rose scent that surrounded the them. She told me they were really gorgeous and gave me 2 pecks on the cheeks and a big bear hug. I accomplished 2 objectives that day, which was (1) Mum’s happy with my gift for her, and (2) I saved lots from it! Normally for an average roses bouquet it costs around RM60 and above. If you do it on your own by buying the flowers individually, along with the wrapping paper, and ribbons, it just costs you around RM20-RM25!

That night, we went out for Mum’s birthday dinner at this German eating place called Gunter’s. Dad used to be Mr. Gunter’s (the owner) regular when it was still located in Luyang years ago (above The Cottage pub). I was around 13-14 at that time but I could recall the brightly-lit restaurant with its cozy table settings and homey interior decoration. One of the unforgettable dishes over there was the dessert – crepes with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce…SEDAP GILA!!!! Few years after that, it had been replaced by some Chinese eatery and had not heard from it since…until this year. While driving along Tuaran Road, I saw a signboard to my left which had Gunter’s name on it in big letters. I was puzzled as the junction led into a housing area. Then it came to my mind that Mr. Gunter’s mini restaurant could be installed in his own house! We’ve always planned on dropping by for dinner but never had the chance…until on Mum’s birthday! Not wanting to be plagued by the ‘kepunan’ effect (a custom which says that if you don’t do what you plan to do, you’ll get ‘punished’), we went there despite potential threats of heavy rain (it’s the raining season now). The place, a nice double-storied house, was quiet and for a moment we thought that it was closed for the night. Then a girl’s head popped out from the window and asked us to come in. By looking at the exterior and interior parts of the house, it was obvious that Mr. Gunter & family are flowers-worshippers. Outside, it was like a mini park with flower pots on the floor, and flowers hanging from the ceiling. In the inside, there were colorful (artificial) flowers hanging on the window curtains, on the walls, on the cupboards, on the tables, and heck, they even served fresh flowers along with the dishes! Even on a cold night, there were some groups of people, young & old, waiting eagerly for their orders in the air-conditioned room. Being a first-timer in the new place, I decided to have a go on their ‘authentic’ German food which included the special long-as-a-French-loaf sausage (it has a German name but I forgot the word) coated with lots of mustard, accompanied with mashed potatoes, bits of chicken, and servings of mushroom sauce. Mum requested for pork wrapped in egg folds (think nasi goreng pattaya), drenched with mushroom sauce and accompanied by a bowl of boiled potatoes. For dessert (sadly the crepes are not on the menu list anymore…sob!), I wanted something different and ordered the baked apple with cinnamon ice-cream. The apple was good (even though it had been baked into a prudish-looking thing), and we believed that the ice-cream was of ‘the better ones’ as it did not have this soft and melty taste like those cheap ice-creams, and it tasted smooth and blended well on our taste buds. For those who are fans of real western food, skip Chinese coffee shops and head over to Gunter’s for the real deal! Don’t think of the quantity (of the money), but think in terms of quality!

We had a good time that day. Not only Mum was genuinely pleased with her gifts, she also managed to eliminate any worries of ageing (being older) out of her mind! :)

my self-made flower bouquet for dearest mum!
my special sausage dish...yummy and FATTENING!
mum's pork ala pattaya-style and potato dish
baked apple and cinnamon ice-cream for dessert!that's a fresh flower on the side :)
the beautiful flower deco inside Gunter's restaurant
more nice views of the restaurant

perfect setting for X'mas, don't u think?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

slow and steady, baby!!

our first photo 2 years ago hehehe...that's in my car!! and he was drving when i took the pic!! driver gila ;)

our most recent photo at my cousin joyce's wedding. that's us doing the slooow dancing :)

"happy anniversary to us

happy anniversary to us

happy 2nd anniversary to nakal and gatal

happy anniversary to us!" does it feel after being together with this bloke for 24 months? ( i don't know for you guys, but i think the word '2 years' sounds much more 'longer' than 24 months..don't u agree?) usually if u ask any typical couple how can they manage to be together for that long, they'll say, 'oh, it's all about give and take, and being co-operative etc'. as for me, i'm going to share with u on what I personally have learnt from him all this while. ;)

the first lesson for me is...ahem (drum roll please)..i have learnt to drink! ya, as in minum minuman yang memabukkan minda anda hahaha! this is due to the times I have spent with his cousins who drinks during bbq's, who drinks during b-days, drinks during x'mas, new year, or they can just sit down, have a nice chat (do guys gossip?), and then take out the bottles. u name it, i have try it all, and all the weird combinations which actually taste nice! it's a good thing to learn to drink 'cos you know what's your limit and you can maintain up to that level so you can control not to go 'overload'!
apart from drinking (and no, i didn't learn to smoke!), i have learnt how to be frugal too! and that's so important 'cos i know us girls will always, always overspend and find budgeting a really hard task to manage! i used to be an eat-out person who loves eating outdoors almost everyday of the week, but since he always eats at home after work and only goes out to dine occasionally, i pun terikut-ikut la ( we eat out like only once or twice a month) and now i'm eagerly cooking lunch and dinner meals at home and lovin' it! 'cos (1) u save (by enormous amounts!) on your food expenses, and (2) home-cooked are much more delicious and hygienic (u'll never know how the dishes were cooked in the shops!). but as they say, old habits never fade...i'm still addicted to clothes though! but i will only buy them if (1) i really need it, and (2) it has a discount!
lastly, i have re-learnt something which i have underestimated over the years: positive attitude. no matter what happnes, he always faces the situation with ease. Even if he has a really hard of work and got endless complaints from his clients or being scolded by his boss, i have never seen him with a sour face or letting out his anger on anybody. Instead, he just tells me about his unlucky day and asks me about how my day is. To me, that is really one very admirable trait. Huh...kalau saya, even the tinniest thing also I will whine and show my perfectly-trained muka masam. everytime whenever i'm in a dour mood and feel like venting out my anger to anybody i see out there, he'll always give me 2 advice, which is not to be too stressed and always pray to God and hope for the best that everything will be ok. Until now, whenever i'm in a bad spot, i'll think back about what he says.
see?not all relationships are just about love, love, love only hehe! even the worst relationship also, you can learn a thing or two from it. And that makes u stronger, more experienced, and look at the world from a totally different perspective.
relationships rock!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

more good food =)

For us girls, there are many downsides to cooking. Like getting bits of chopped garlic or sticky flour stuck under your fingernails, the stubborn won’t-go-away smells and stains of onions and turmeric powder on your hands no matter how many times you wash them, the painstaking time you need to get all the ingredients in order (especially the slicing, dicing, and cleaning part), the odor from the cooking process which clings to your hair and outfit (and you need to head for the showers again if it’s worse, like cooking sambal or anything that involves belacan), getting minor burns from the hot oil shooting out from the wok ( I hate frying fish!), the tears that you have to endure from cutting all those onions and chillis, the endless amount of times whereby you get your tongue burnt from trying out the taste of the food being cooked (mine’s burning right now from tasting the fried ikan bilis), and the cleaning up process which includes scrubbing dirty pots and pans (ugh!), wiping the kitchen tables, and throwing out the garbage. Phew! Cooking really turns one into a smelly, dirty, not forgetting to mention sweaty girl with chipped fingernails.

However, cooking also is a very effective way to de-stress and to calm your thoughts down (unless you’re arranging a dinner party for a hundred!). And to see the happy look on your guests while trying out your food gives you that satisfied feeling, as if you have done something good in return for them. Anyhow, here are some more of my first-time dishes which are all my favorites ( I adore veggies and fish) =)
p/s- do you know how easy is it to cook steamed fish??!! Just get a fresh fish and some itty-bitty ingredients like sesame oil, garlic, soya sauce, and salt. It costs you less than RM10. If you makan di kedai, nah RM30 gone!!!!

kangkung with dried prawns
ladies' fingers with cummin seeds (left) and steamed fish (my favorite!!!!)
sayur daun with oyster sauce and fried garlic (i like oyster sauce!!!!)
sweet and sour fish (left) and taugeh (beansprouts) with dried prawns (yum!!)
sup sayur of leafy veggies, carrots and spring onions (i always order sup sayur and white rice at mamak stalls) =)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

ain't nuttin' like V in the kitchen =)

I’ve been a good girl lately, doing what every girl should at least have a hands-on – cooking yummy dishes! Well, actually I’m pretty bored of Mum’s plain ol’, same ol’ fish and veggies recipes. When I was away in uni, I’d be eagerly cooking up my own dish even after late-night classes which ended at 10pm. I was dead tired, but I had to do it ‘cos no one would be waiting for me in the kitchen with good food set on the table. My other flatmates would either just order some takeaway or get on with some ‘fast’ food like the trusted Maggi mee and frozen mini pizzas. For those whose hometowns are just a mere few miles away, they are lucky enough to bring back Mum’s ever-delicious chicken curry or tuna pasta, just waiting to be reheated. I know I can just heat up a bowl of instant noodles within 5 minutes, but I just don’t like it that way. I think everyone should have a proper meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. The finer things in life that simply can’t be missed is exploring and trying out the wonderful variety of food out there. With simple ingredients like ginger, sesame oil, garlic, onions, pepper etc, the most delicious food in the word can be created. Anyway, Mum’s not a really keen cook, interior decorating is more her taste she says. While I was away also her common meal usually consists of bread, health drinks, and veggies (mau diet konon!). So when I came back here, I rummaged through Mum’s old (but still effective) cookbooks and did my best in trying out the recipes available. I’m for one not an expert and all the dishes that I’ve cooked up are all my firsts. I haven’t tried desserts like cakes as we don’t have an oven at home =( I’d really like to have a try on making a fluffy blueberry cheesecake, my favorite! Have a look at some (not particularly impressive though!) of the pics that I took of my own homemade dishes hehe…bon appetit everyone! =)
fish in teochew sauce
sup calung of fish balls, potatoes, and soh hoon

egg noodles with chicken, mushrooms, and mixed veggies
assam fish

Saturday, November 10, 2007

a penny for an orchid, a nickel for a rose!

Giving flowers for your loved ones has always been a favorite among all. I think flowers are like food for the soul. Just look at the reactions given by those that you know who received flowers in the past...some will squeal in delight, some will smile non-stop, some will burst into tears of happiness, some will scream as if they've never scream in their entire lives, some will just go speechless and their mouths form a big 'O'. I know that feeling. There was once when I was given flowers by my aunt during my graduation. Even though the ceremony had ended and did not get the flowers 'till dinnertime, I was gobsmacked. 'Pink roses!!! For me???!!!' And it's just not a couple of roses..but in thirties of my ultimate favorite flower. At that time, I felt happy, dizzy, giggly, and just can't get that grin outta my face. And flowers aren't just for girls, it's okay for guys to receive flowers too. There was one time when I (secretly!) sent flowers to my Gatal at his workplace. Needless to say, he was embarrassed (apparently the whole org. talked about it and that he was the first male to ever receive flowers there!) but I know he's pleased at the same time hehe!
Anyway! I've always wanted to learn on how to make your own flower bouquet 'cos let's not deny it prepared by florists are really hitting the roof! So when mum told me about a flower-arranging course (FOC!) sponsored by JPSM (Jabatan Pembangunan Sumber Manusia), I immediately wasted no time in registering. It's a five-day course (but ended in four days' time!) which started from 9am-5pm. Macam panjang tu masa kan..but we had so much fun that time passed by really quickly and we didn't want to leave 'cos we were not done with our flowers! Our teacher was this really sweet and patient florist called Florence and she owns Justflo-rist. Those who stay in Penampang, her shop is located at Donggongon near the BP petrol station, same row with Snow Studio. She taught us lotsa things like making flower arrangements for decor at home, office, hotel lobbies or just about anywhere, flower bouquets, corsages, bridal bouquets (I especially like the 'falling' type. In Malay they call it the 'juntai' style), flower girls' baskets, flowers for the cake, and even funeral wreaths. Surprisingly the methods are quite simple but it needs lots of practice to make the flowers look in perfect order and not to use too much materials or else you'll exceed your budget! From the course also I get to know new friends and we really had some good time together =)
One tip for you guys out there. To make fresh flowers lasting, change the water everyday and you can add just a tinny bit of Chlorox to prevent insects in laying their eggs there. Also cut (in a slanting way, or 'serong') the ends of the flower stalk to ensure the flower is able to absorb the water. And don't throw away dried flowers, you can make them into potpourri! There you go...if you're hungry for more, just join a flower-arranging course! =)
this is our messy 'creative' workroom! At AKMA, Penampang

a bridal bouquet made by the teacher...nice rite?

the 'basket' is actually used for agricultural it can be used for flower arrangement!

here's my collection of handmade flowers! flowers for decoration, bridal bouquets and flower girls' baskets!

Monday, November 5, 2007

tHat sHip!

Do you ever have those childhood memories whereby you still clearly remember some of the itty-bitty parts but have a vague impression on where was it being held and when? Well, I had lots and one of them was little me standing in a large ship at night and surrounded by hundreds of books. Few weeks ago, I was driving along the highway from Sembulan to Donggongon when I saw a big billboard with a picture of an enormous ship with the caption ‘the world’s largest floating book fair’. Just by one glance triggered that memory of me being in that huge ship. As a self-proclaimed bookworm (and proud of it!), I nagged my mum, my guy, and my aunt in accompanying me to pay the ship a visit. In the end, my aunt and my guy & co. willingly volunteered (hehe thanks guys!). Just for some info, MV Doulos (the ship’s name) was built in 1914 just 2 years after the Titanic and claimed to be the world’s largest floating bookshop with over 8000 titles (whoa! That’s a LOT). There are over 350 volunteers on the ship from around 50 different nations (that’s one heavily multi-racial vessel!).

When we reached there, I was so glad I didn’t go alone and mum didn’t come along ‘cos (i) to find a parking space was practically impossible (unless you are willing to park 10 miles away from the destination), and (ii) the vast amount of visitors (even old grannies!) made the queues long and winding (‘cos there’s a limit on how many people can be onboard) and I just simply can’t imagine mum waiting in line under the hot, searing sun.

When we finally got our turn to get on the ship, I was expecting air-conditioning for some refreshing. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the books area. Imagine hundreds of sweaty people trapped in a small area meant for less than a hundred. Eww, I felt like being in a sardine can! Anyway, the good point was that I’m surrounded by BOOKS! But after a while, I discovered that majority were of books on spirituality, and others consisted of kiddies’ books, cookbooks, books of hobbies and interests, and very little on the business side. Sadly, there were no chic lits to be found ( I know, I know, I’m a sucker for modern romances with witty sentences). My aunt got some books for our little cousins and some colorful cookbooks for herself, and I got myself one (about CVs, that is. The only interesting book I would buy!) and a motivational book from a spiritual perspective for mum (I’m gonna read that one too!). The cookbooks were really cheap (it’s double the price in bookstores) but I’m like, ‘You can always get free recipes from the Net’. I was grateful when the weather had changed to cloudy when we left the ship and stopped by at a coffee shop to quench our thirsts before heading back home.

That night, Dad suggested that we eat out for dinner and Mum chose the Indian restaurant, Chettinad Anjappar, at Asia City (the one with tusks deco at the entrance, facing Api2). We had dinner there twice before and agreed that the place is worth going back. The food that they served is really rich in taste, which I think is the REAL Indian cuisine. We had thosai ‘tissue’ (must-try!), lamb masala, butter chicken, veggies, and tomato soup. One cute thing about the restaurant is that the food is served in small portions but is actually very filling (due to the pekat-ness of the gravy)! The masala chai (some kinda tea) and the coffee are also recommended. They are served in really tiny cups but are worth of it ‘cos of their rich taste. The prices are also reasonable (last time me and Mum went for dinner, it cost us around RM30++) and the atmosphere there is quite comfy (acceptable dim lighting and their cutlery sets are nice to look at!). For me, I’d give it a rating of 4/5.

Anyway, I might not get that much books from the book fair, but it’s the experience that counts, right? =)

that's the massive ship! and look at the interior of the ship (below), ain't it looked hot and stuffy?!

the super-long and super-crunchy thosai 'tissue'!

look at the tiny dishes! aren't they cute? =)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

kNow yoUr huMan riGhts!!

If I ask you a simple question, ‘What is human rights to you?’ The most likely answer you will give me is, ‘the right to freedom, the right to speak out your mind, the right to choose your own religion etc’. For me, I’d like to add in some more such as the right to live your life, the right to make your own decision, the right to choose your husband, the right to choose your friends, the right to wear whatever you feel like, and the right to eat whatever you want hehe. But seriously, I think most of us (even the adults!) have a very vague idea on what our human rights are. And I have the Era Consumer to thank for organizing a human rights seminar for us clueless people. Not to bore you with all the details throughout the seminar, I’d just like to share with you guys some of the interesting bits which could be important for your knowledge. For example, if you get arrested (palis-palis…), what are your basic rights? Ha! We must know about that, don’t we?

To start off with, let’s look into what other human rights are there in Malaysia besides the main three I’ve listed above. According to the Federal Constitution, there are the right to personal liberty (this is when you get arrested), abolition of slavery, right to equal protection under the law, rights in respect of education, protection against racial discrimination, right to property (big issue here), right to citizenship and to vote (another big issue!). The speaker, who talked about the Federal Constitution, remarked that our view on what the Government is like is not what we think it would be. We think that the government is all about rankings such as the PM, deputy PM, and the other ministers right? Wrong. Look at it in this way. There is the Constitution (Perlembagaan) on top, which is divided into the Courts and the Monarchy. Under the Monarchy, we have the Parliament and below it is the Executive. So who decides the laws? Normal laws are made by the Parliament, but the Courts can decide on whether to enforce or abolish the laws. Sadly, this is not the case in Malaysia. According to the speaker, the Courts are described as ‘conservative and are still British-colonized’. They feel that the Parliament is powerful and are in favour of the Parliament’s decisions. Another way to put it, the Courts ‘tutup mata sahaja’ (just close their eyes). Another very interesting (and über sensitive) issue to look at is the freedom of religion. Freedom of religion exists in all democratic countries, but here in Malaysia there’s a bit of twist into it. Whatever religion that you are in, you can always convert into another depending on your beliefs, right? I mean, it’s a matter of you and God, and not anyone else’s business. But it’s not in the case of Islam. Once you’re an Islam, you can never convert into other religions. Why? As commented by the speaker, according to his sources, in the Muslim world, being an Islam means that you have made a pact with God in the ‘heavenly courts’. Obviously, there’s no court more supreme than the heavenly courts. So if the person wants to get out of the religion, it’s like an act of offense against God. Another simple way to see it is that you will be in God’s ‘black list’. Actually, freedom of religion is a human right and not one of those laws made by people. Like what the speaker said, human rights do not require laws, they are inherited. Hmm…so what do you guys think about that?

Anyway! Let’s get onto the next best part. OK, how will you react if you get arrested? Let’s see…panicked, scared, freeze to the ground, faint…anymore? I think I’ll faint hehe. Right, the first main thing is to ask WHY you have been arrested (mana tau salah orang or maybe the police guy just want to have some fun teasing you!). If the police gives a perfectly logical explanation, then you have no choice (sob!) but to follow him to the (nearest) balai. However, potential witnesses are NOT ALLOWED to be arrested. So if he/she wants to drag you along, tell him/her (in a nice way) to properly re-check the police arrest manual. And what happens when the arrested gets locked up in jail? Some important things to note: you can only be detained for 24 hours (check your watch!), and you have the right to make calls (your lawyer, family, or friends). The police can’t force you to make calls if you don’t want to. But there’s one niggling thing, though. The speaker said that if you (a husband) have been caught in entertainment outlets with a group of giggly, well-endowed girls, don’t call your wife, but a friend instead. Why ah? I also tak faham la. Also, when you are discussing with your lawyer in jail, the police are not allowed to listen to your conversation but can watch from afar.

Another interesting bit to chat on is the types of body search techniques. Did you know that some of the techniques can only be performed by police with certain rankings? Ok, the most basic body search is the pat down search which can be performed by all police officers. A similar example would be when you are being ‘searched’ in the airport whereby when you pass the metal detector, a ‘ping’ sound emerges. Another type would be the strip search whereby you may be required to, basically, ‘strip’ (but not remove all your clothes at the same time la, and it’s conducted in a private room)! But only police officers with rankings of Inspector and above can only conduct this type of body search. The third one, which you guys may be familiar based on a newspaper article, is the intimate search. Remember when the girl was forced to do squats naked? That’s an example of an intimate search. The squatting process is to determine whether illegal weapons or any evidence are being hidden in the ‘intimate’ areas. But one mistake on the scenario is that the girl is naked. According to the procedures, the arrested person does not necessary have to remove all of his/her clothing. And this type of search can only be conducted by the Assistant Superintendent of Police and above. Lastly, would be the intrusive search whereby evidence or any weapon have to be removed from inside the body. One example would be whereby the arrested person is given laxatives in order to ‘give out’ evidences such as drugs stuffed in condoms. This can only be conducted by a Medical Officer with the approval of an Officer in charge of the Police District. Well! That’s quite a whole lot, isn’t it? An advice for avid clubbers out there, if the club you’re in has been raided by the police, they have the right to conduct body search on you without you being arrested. The Inspector must be there in order to authorize the body search. However, DO NOT let the police to put their hands in your pockets or bags. Instead, volunteer to empty them and let them have a view of your belongings. After emptying your bags, turn them inside out in order to show there’s nothing inside. You cannot be forced to strip naked and they should body search you with gracious decency.

So, I bet you guys had quite a lot to learn today about some of your basic rights, isn’t it? It is better to know rather than not to know at all. Those who had gained some knowledge from this article hopefully can passed ‘em down to their family and friends. Let there be a more educated community! =)

nice signboard hehe

a view of the participants...that's my sweet lydia smiling!

group pic of le komluakans...that's the 'Chief' sitting down!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Budget = Boring?!

Ever wondered why people complain about the lack of commitment of the authorities in improving the development of the road system in rural areas? Or perhaps why there is still a large amount of unemployed youth in the society? And of course, the most talked about issue would be the ongoing serious problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah which had been going on for decades and sadly remained unsolved. Well, part of it comes from how the budget for each sector was being used. Using common sense la, you want to solve a problem, you have to have the money. In this case, the budget could either be misused, or not enough of the budget is being given.
When I was told by the ‘Chief’ himself, Mr. Ewon the talented speaker, about attending a “Perbincangan Round Table Belanjawan Negara 2008”, I’m like, ‘Okayy…so it’s about a bunch of figures being presented on Power Point??”. Thing is, I’m not a fan of numbers. Back in high school, I’ve never passed on any math subject (I managed to score during the finals though, thankfully!) and whoever asked for my help in book-keeping or accounting, I tell them to just get outta my face! Mum was invited too, but since she was reluctant to go, she insisted that I go ahead and attend it.

le komulakans in their most well-behaved poses hehe
On the early morning of 18th October, I drove to the venue, which was the Penampang Library, prepared with expectations that it’s going to be another boring talk of figures, figures, and figures. But surprisingly, I was wrong. Each of us was given a list of speakers representing their own area and the topic they were going to discuss on. There were altogether 26 speakers (each present their speech for a duration of 10 minutes), but only 17 turned up. Still confused, I asked one of the Komulakan members on what are the speakers generally going to present on. He told me they would talk about on whether they are satisfied with the budget being given for the particular sector and what are the improvements can be made to develop the sector even more. From there was when I generally had a basic understanding on what it is all about. Another niggling thing I noticed about the list of speakers was that out of the 17 speakers, only 2 were ladies! Looks like we still have a lot to do in order to prove that we can be at par as the men, ya?

the speakers viewing out their opinions!

Anyway, some of the common problems being discussed are the lack of computer & technology knowledge among the kids and adults, lack of water & electricity in most rural areas, illegal logging activities, underdeveloped transportation system, lack of teachers in rural areas and their ability of being fluent in English, and the problem of domestic violence against women and the increasing migration of women to West Malaysia for better job opportunities. One issue that caught my attention is the yet to be developed arts & film industry in Sabah. When’s the last time I’ve ever watch an original Sabahan film? Never. Why? ‘Cos they never properly advertised them in public. I know some of you will say, ‘Haiya, Sabahan actors where got handsome and pretty one!’ Or ‘Some more, I don’t even understand Kadazandusun. So why should I watch it?’ But the speaker of this topic gave a very good point whereby if Malaysians are willing to watch Japanese, Korean, Hindi, or French movies in which they are completely not fluent in, why won’t they give Kadazandusun films a chance? But in my opinion, expertise, creativity of the script, and promotion of the film is vital to success. So, for all aspiring local actors and directors out there, you must take action first before whining all day that you are not able to outperform Western and even the Malay films. It’s a loooong way, but miracles do happen =)
Another ‘hot’ topic discussed was the corruption situation in Sabah. The speaker for this topic may looked like a fudey-dudey old man, but when he speaks, Whoa! , everybody listened to him with rapt attention. It’s because he spoke with such enthusiasm (not in a positive way of course) and threw in some jokes here and there to lighten up the grim atmosphere. He remarked that the three most corrupted agencies are… (drum roll, please) (1) the Police, (2) the Army, and (3) the Majlis Daerah ( Council). He said that because of corruption, illegal logging activities are still going on, the PTIs (Pendatang Tanpa Izin) or just simply known as the illegal immigrants from Indonesia and the Phillipines, are still seen walking around the streets and their houses are shamelessly build in the public eye. Also, because of corruption, drugs like Syabu can be smuggled into the state through the ‘insiders’ and that top senior positions in the government are still held by West Malaysians in Sabah, and also that the distribution of scholarships among high-achievers in Sabah are very, very limited.

group photo with YB Donald Mojuntin!

But of all this, I think the main problem which has reached a critical (almost in a coma!) state in Sabah is the PTIs issue. I think everyone will agree to that. Maybe some of you may not realize that the amount of PTIs has actually outnumbered our Sabahan population, which happened in just a mere of 30 years, imagine that! Why are they so eager to come to our state, I don’t know. They have acknowledged themselves as true Sabahans by producing their so-called ‘ICs’, saying that they were born here, and that they are eligible to be voters during elections. There was one PTI who claimed that he was born in Ranau and had been living in Sabah ever since. But when he was interrogated, found out that he could not speak a word of Dusun (ha!). So you guys out there, be careful that your IC’s are not being ‘cloned’ by them. An example would be two different ICs but with the same passport picture and thumb prints. Imagine your identity being taken by someone else…such a big violation against human rights, isn’t it?

Anyway, I don’t want to say more on this, nanti kena kutuk pula for saying too much hehe. But I must say that I did not regret in attending this discussion event as I (the usually clueless one) can get a few insights on what is actually going on in the neighborhood surrounding us. So, next time before you complain on anything, look into the facts first, then you decide whether you can contribute something into it =)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It’s just isn’t complete without Kuih Lapis during Raya

It’s my 2nd time being able to spend this auspicious occasion in KK since doing my studies over(South China)seas for 4 years. And it’s been 5 years since my last Raya visit to Membakut, where all of my Mum’s ‘old’ chums are at. They’ve known each other for nearly 30 years and still keep their friendship intact. Now that’s what I call true friendship. For me to actually have a proper Raya celebration, I have no answer to that (perhaps 10 years?). I remember cruisin’ around with Mum, Uncle M, and my cousins, N & N, and visited 12 houses in just one day! God knows how bloated our tummies were, and we little kids ended up snoozing at the back of the car on the way back.

This year, I kinda hoped that we could do that again (visiting the 12 houses part). Unfortunately, during the 1st day of Raya, we had to attend a relative’s wedding and found ourselves going back nearly 10 that night. It was quite fun though. After the reception at the community hall, we continued to ‘aramai tii’ (basically mean to party!!!) at the groom’s house. As usual, there was the ‘live’ singing part and One Uncle Walter taught me the ‘foxtrot’, which is different from the usual cha-cha, joget, sumazau, twist or ‘slow dance’ (where couples just sway from left to right hehe) which are normal dance routines during Kadazan weddings. Me being a first-time learner, I was a bit scared ‘cos obviously there were steps to be followed and I might ‘injure’ him with my stilettos. Plus, I was wearing a really (really!) short black mini. If I trip and fall, you know what will happen. It will be the Major Embarrassment for the Night. He dismissed my fears and told me to just relax and follow his direction. At first, my whole body was rigid and my movements awkward. But good ol’ Uncle Walter told me to visualize as if I’m a lifeless doll and that I let myself being ‘led’ by the partner. After a few tries, he said I was doing really good and that he’d like it if I were to be his dance partner! It turned out that he made lots of complicated turns (just like in the ballroom dancing scenes in old Western movies!) but I still can get along with his pace. Frankly, foxtrot is much more interesting than other dances. Its movements are graceful, elegant, and sophisticated. It might look easy, but it’s not. It really does take a lot of coordination of rhythm and timing, and ample airs of grace.

Anyway! Seems like I’m out of my intended Raya topic hehe. So, during the 2nd day of Raya, we planned (with fierce determination) to go a road trip to Membakut. Unfortunately (again), Mum must attend one of her friend’s son’s wedding during the afternoon. Apparently, her friend is one of her ‘supporters’, and so it is compulsory to attend, even for 20 minutes so be it. Luckily, her friend was understanding and we managed to leave after grabbing a quick, light lunch at the reception. It’s surprising sometimes that wedding receptions at home are much better than those in grand hotels and community halls. Hotels may have gorgeous decorations and atmospheric layouts, but it is always the food that matters. Am I not right? *winks* In this case, who cares about bumpy roads full of potholes when you can get yummylicious food of black pepper beef, sweet and sour chicken (the yummier version) and just nicely cooked mixed vegetables? But the music was thumbs-down though. I mean, who sings emotional rock songs at weddings?!

Right, back to my Raya topic. After that, we fetched Uncle M and there we were: Mum, Uncle M, me, and my lovely Si Gatal, getting all ready for the trip. By then, I had changed into my new sort of goldish in colour Kebaya. Some things I like about wearing kebayas and baju kurung are:

(1) You can sit with your legs wide (not that wide!) open and not worrying that onlookers can get a view of your knickers,

(2) You can be assured that your knickers is not going to show at the back of your waist as compared to wearing low-cut jeans,

(3) You can hide your legs when you realized that you forgot to shave them that morning,

(4) You can be sexy without showing too much flesh e.g. through the body-fitting kebaya and kebarung,

(5) You have loads of cloth materials to choose from which looks expensive but is not e.g. cheap polyester which looks like satin, and lastly,

(6) It’s pretty convenient for your husband/fiancé/boyfriend/boy friend to undress you when you’re both in the mood for some luuuurve *grins cheekily*.

Uncle R and Us!

The Amazing Kuih Lapis

V and the cute li'l girlsss

It was most unfortunate that the raining season came into the month of October ‘cos it had caused massivetraffic on the roads, not forgetting to mention blurry views of the cars ahead due to heavy flow of raindrops.Luckily, Uncle M was driving and Gatal and I got to catch on our beauty sleep at the back. As we were reaching Kg. Brunei Membakut an hour plus later, the only memory that I have about this place is the little bridge that we had to cross in order to reach the kampung. Our car was just crossing the bridge when I woke up. I realized that we were on the bridge and I was like, ‘Oh my God! We’re here!’ Uncle R’s house, Mum’s old chum, still looked the same as it had been 10 years ago. It was still raining heavily and I was devastated of the fact that my peep-toe heels will be drenched in mud. But as soon as I saw Uncle R’s familiar face, I felt a whoosh of happiness and gave him a big bear hug. I mean, Mum only gets to meet him once a year! Apart from him and his dad (quite a good-looking old gentleman), I don’t quite remember his siblings and their kids. Anyway, after the exchanged greetings of ‘Selamat Hari Raya’ and salams to one another, we sat down on the plush sofa and I eagerly waited for the yummy Malay delicacies to come out (gosh, I’m such a pig aren’t I? But hey, I am born in the year of the pig *grins*). We were served kuih lapis, home-made satay and its peanut gravy, home-made pulut, Raya cookies and cakes, and aromatic tea and coffee. Based on the topic that I have posted, I really have to emphasize on the kuih lapis. They were so COLOURFUL!! Like rainbows but with different version of colours. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it’s really tasty too. Gatal commented that Sarawakian kuih lapis looked much better and Mum told me that this is the Brunei version of kuih lapis. Well, I don’t care what Gatal says, I’m all for the Brunei version *smiles*. As we were helping ourselves with the kuihs and drinks, Uncle R and Mum couldn’t stop chatting about their recent developments and of their other friends. They also giggled endlessly of what ‘pranks’ they did in their heydays. More people dropped by after sometime and we decided to visit another of Mum’s friends at a nearby place. There we had really delicious rendang and curry while watching Garfield on Astro hehe. We would’ve gone to a few more houses but since Gatal had a business appointment to go to, sadly we had to leave early. Thankfully, the rain had stopped but there are still a lot of cars so Uncle M drove at an insanely super fast speed in order to get Gatal to be punctual for the appointment. There was one time he overtook a few cars while heading for a bridge and we can’t even see incoming cars from the other side. Talk about nerve-wrecking (even Gatal was shell-shocked)! But Uncle M was an expert (he should be a car racer) and got us to our safety in KK in about one hour. After sending Gatal back, the remaining three of us went for drinks at a kopitiam (I still managed to add some more satays into my tummy!) before heading back home. Our Raya trip may be short but it’s being able to meet your friends that matters. It shows that we still care and appreciate each other, isn’t it? =)

Ok adios for now, need to catch on with my beauty sleep!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

youNgsteRs witH a cAusE

Don’t you ever wish you had more friends (not that you don’t have any!)? Or perhaps get involve in activities like leadership seminars, outings, and even learn about basic social etiquette but never get the chance? Maybe you’ve always wanted to help those around you but don’t know who to approach to provide your assistance more effectively. Or else you just want to know what exactly are the issues that have been going on in the neighbourhood that you are living in. You keep on hearing people complaining about this and that, and because you lack the knowledge of the source for the issues, you don’t know whether to agree with these people or defend the authorities. Because of these reasons, the Komulakan is created.

Simple but effective banner hehe

V and Dipin the Bos

One big happy family =)

Did I get your attention? Hehe…basically the Movement (in Bahasa Malaysia it’s known as Pergerakan Komulakan) is kinda like a youth group/club (opened to anyone between 18-28 years old) and is specially catered for the KDMs (Kadazandusun Murut) but other races are accepted to join in as well. It was formed in 2005 but is only officially launched this year. Recently, on 12th October (just last week!), was the official launching of the Komulakan in the Moyog area. There were 110 new members and I see it as a good sign. According to the Chief (something like big boss! He’s very young [my age!] but is super talented and very driven and focused to achieve what he wants. To you I bow!), there are altogether around 6,000 members in the whole of Sabah! Wow, that’s a big number, hope I got the figure right! Anyway, I don’t know much about this movement as I only joined few months ago. Actually, Mum got me to join and she was really persistent about it, so I just went along with it. In these few months, I began to see the benefits of being in this club. One vital advantage is that being a member of this movement definitely makes your resume looks more promising. Why? Well, in these few months I was given the chance to speak (more like giving a debatable speech) in front of hundreds of people (or did it reach a thousand?). Of course I had my paper to read from, but most importantly is how I present my speech to the audience. From here I can tell the interviewer that I have good presentation skills. Secondly, I am selected to be in the committee, and from here I am able to sharpen up my skills on how to conduct an actual meeting and how to handle the other committee members. From here I can tell the (already impressed) interviewer that I have excellent communication and handling people skills. Thirdly, in these few months also I had the chance to go on a few trips like going camping in the natural habitat where we had conducted some seminars (the informal way) as well. And from here, I get to know loads of new friends and do some networking for future purposes. As for current issues, we haven’t focus on any yet, but I think the ongoing one would be the unemployment problem among the youth. I could use some advice myself, since I’m temporarily ‘on a leave’ heehee! But seriously, I want a job which I’m able to relate myself to. Like ‘V doing accounts?’ No way! Or perhaps being stuck in admin typing letters and do photocopying work everyday…not my cup of tea.

Anyway, not to bore you with all this! Just wanted to spread the word. If you’re interested, just let me know! I know you’ve always wanted to be someone with a cause ;)

Monday, October 15, 2007

just another normal monday

Well! It’s been a while I’ve done any blogging. My former blog used to be in friendster, but i don't like the formatting and is always prone to errors. anyway, all my friends are using this so here i am! OK, back to my lack of commitment to blogging ehehe. Blame it on the 3-month long dissertation (some of you call it thesis, to the oldies they refer it as ‘project paper’ hehe). Without the help of my supervisor, my parents, and my friends, I wouldn’t have able to complete in time and to maintain my sanity as well! Thankfully, the amount of words of my dissertation is ngam2 according to the word limit of 20,000. Before you go, ‘Wha…?!’, 20,000 isn’t actually that much. Once you start writing, you just can’t stop ‘cos there’s so many things that you wanted to say. Anyway, if all’s good I might be able to graduate next January!


Completing (hurray!) your studies is one thing, packing your stuff and moving out is another totally different story. One of my least favorite things to do since I started traveling around is packing, especially in terms of toiletries. I don’t know why I find it a nuisance when it comes to arranging all the little bottles into the vanity bag. Perhaps it’s because there’s so many of them. There’s the cleanser, toner, moisturizer, make-up remover, shampoo, conditioner, hair treatment, body lotion, hair spray, spot serum, hair serum, hand sanitizer, sunblock lotion, nail polish, nail polish remover, eye gel, deodorant, massage oil, contact lens multi-purpose solution, toothbrush, toothpaste, face sponge, AND hair roller! Hmm…and I don’t think the list ends there. Don’t even think about cosmetics heehee! The whole packing debacle took nearly a week of my time, knowing that I like to take my own sweet time in deciding what goes to which suitcase, what should go straight to the bin, and what can be ‘passed down’ to the cleaners. Heck, I even offered some of my CDs to them!


Anyway, I had dear old Mum to thank as she decided to fly over and help me to ‘share’ the burden of bringing back all the stuff. She’d say to her friends, “Oh, I’m flying out to help my daughter as she’s moving out and I’m sure she’ll need my help.” My guess of her actual version was, ‘Yayy! Shopping malls here I come!!’ We stayed in the city for a couple of days doing nothing but shop, shop, shop. Initially, I was determined to stick to my to-buy list of working clothes. As it goes, I did buy some cloth materials for the tailor to make some nice pants and skirts out of them ‘cos I could never find the right size of pants for my ‘improportionate’ waist-down figure. Either the waistband is too high and makes me look like an ‘auntie’, or else it’s too wide for my waist. Unfortunately, I’ve also added a black shirt dress, a three-layered strapless flowing dress (for my cousin’s wedding next month!), a strapless blue floaty top, yet another sheer flowery minidress, yellow pointed heels, a little gold-studded bag, another brown satin evening clutch with beads, and three belly costumes to my shopping list! I just can’t resist the costumes (2 tops and one waist shimmy) ‘cos they’re so pretty and they’re at half price! One top (bikini-style) is black decorated with golden beads and sequins, and the other one is entirely gold-studded heehee. The waist shimmy is gold in colour as well and the hanging coins add the lovely finishing touch. I haven’t worn them yet though, I’m still waiting for our upcoming performance which is yet to be scheduled!

Shopping apart, we also went to good ol’ Hard Rock café upon Mum’s persistent request. Did I tell you my mum’s the coolest? She brought me clubbing when I turned 17…seriously! But I doubt she’ll be able to stand the outrageous atmosphere of Zouk or Nouvo, that’s why HRC is her favorite place to stop by whenever we’re in the city. We went on a weekday whereby the crowd’s not so pack and the atmosphere was not heavily reeked of cigarette smoke. We had a nice meal of fried rice, steak, and lemonade and stayed on to watch the band which only performs at 11pm. The band, from the Philippines, wasn’t bad at all. There were two lead singers, and the guy was pretty cute in a boyish kind of way with his cap, blue fitting tee (Nice enough to show the manly curves hehe), and jeans. He’s a bit on the short side, but good enough for petite 5-feet frames like me! They sang my requested songs by rihanna and dashboard confessional, and someone asked for ‘beautiful girls’ but luckily they didn’t sing it! That song is so irritating and overplayed, don’t you think?! They also sang some old 90’s songs which are still a pleasant listen to your ears, like ‘nice & slow’ by usher. If you like steamy songs to get you into the groove but are sweet to listen as well, get usher’s earlier ‘my way’ (or is it? I’ve forgotten) album and there are some nice songs like ‘bedtime’ (very sweet song! Sing this to your girlfriend as a lullaby guys, hehe), ‘nice & slow’ etc.


ANYWAY…here’s the interesting bit!!! There was this waitress who’s really friendly who dutifully got our drinks, passed along my song requests to the band, and even gave us complimentary snacks to go with our drinks. I’ve forgotten her name, but she was from Penang and had been working there for 5 years (funny, I’ve never seen her around). During the final set of the band performance, one of the guitarists (who never sang in the previous sets) came up to the mic and crooned to a vaguely familiar song. I decided his vocals wasn’t bad at all when the friendly waitress suddenly materialized by my side and she said THIS into my ear, “See that guy singing? He’s dedicating this song to you!” I got all flustered (but trying to keep my cool) and I was like, “Really?! Are you sure?” The waitress practically jumped up and down gleefully and added that he’d like to know my name and perhaps get my number as well, commented that I’m cute AND whether I had a boyfriend! Gosh, and I was wondering how was he able to see me in this dark ambiance, and from the light-blinding stage no less! Mum remarked it was a pity that I didn’t get hit by the boyish lead singer ‘cos he’s cuter. I rolled my eyes. Mum’s always about good-looking guys with babyish faces, beautiful eyes, and gorgeous skin. Btw, I did some searching and found out that the song is ‘you and me’ by lifehouse. Very impressive to impress a girl. The lyrics go like this:

What day is it? And in what month?

This clock never seemed so alive

I can't keep up and I can't back down

I've been losing so much time

Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do

Nothing to lose

And it's you and me and all of the people

And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

All of the things that I want to say just aren't coming out right

I'm tripping on words

You've got my head spinning

I don't know where to go from here

Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do

Nothing to prove

And it's you and me and all of the people

And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

There's something about you now

I can't quite figure out

Everything she does is beautiful

Everything she does is right

Cause it's you and me and all of the people with nothing to do

Nothing to lose

And it's you and me and all of the people

And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

and me and all of the people with nothing to do

Nothing to prove

And it's you and me and all of the people

And I don't know why, I can't keep my eyes off of you

What day is it?

And in what month?

This clock never seemed so alive

In conclusion, I AM flattered, but not interested thank you very much hehe. However it’s definitely a nice feeling when someone dedicates a song for you and sings it personally. Before going back to hometown sweet hometown, we celebrated my aunt’s first baby (I called him baby Ryan) baptism day at PJ. He’s only 3 months old, but looks unbelievably like a 6-month old baby and we projected that he’ll be a 6-footer in the future, just like his daddy =) Height aside, he’s also one of the most well-behaved babies I’ve ever known (he should be no. 1 best baby in the world)! He doesn’t cry (even when he’s in the bath!), is not choosy when it comes to who’s carrying him, and even knows how to look straight at the camera for picture-taking! This is one intelligent tot. The small family plans to come to kk during Christmas…can’t wait to see baby Ryan again! I expect he’ll be able to crawl around on fours by that time. That’s where the trouble begins, ‘cos he’ll want to go everywhere and all over the place, as long it’s anywhere!


And now, I’m back in ol’ good kampung taking a nice, long break. Currently I’m just doing some house chores, helping Mum with errands, going for belly classes, and learning to cook up some new recipes every week! I think it’s really exciting to prepare the ingredients (all those chopping, slicing and pounding!) and to create a tasty home-made dish which is way much cheaper than those served in shops. So far, I’ve done soups, curries, and stir-fried fish with sauces. It’s not exactly fine dining, but at least it’s edible and Mum being my critic, commented I’m doing ok but needs more practice! We’ve got loads of cookbooks at home ranging from Malaysian, Australian, Japanese, Chinese, Philippines, to even Mongolian! For now I’m just concentrating on simple Malaysian dishes and hopefully I’ll be serving my own dishes to actual guests in the future! My current ‘food-testers’ are just Mum and my cousin hehe. Cooking aside, Mum’s giving me language ‘lessons’ which we young generation are shamefully not knowledgeable in. Yup, we can’t even speak our own mother tongue – the Kadazan language. I’m not saying all of us, but perhaps there’s 70% of the young Kadazan generation who are not fluent in the language. If you’re not up for tuition classes, just ask your parents to teach you through everyday conversation. It’s much faster to catch up and master the language in that way. I’m just in the beginning stage, whenever Mum’s says something in Kadazan, I’ll just reply with an ‘Oh’, which means ‘yes’. So it’s Mum going yada yada yada, and I’m like ‘yes,yes,yes!’ hehe. Well, at least, I’m learning, isn’t it? *winks*

Talking about us young generation, we’re (my group) having an official launch of our youth club soon and we call ourselves the Komulakans (basically means youth). It’s specially catered for the KDMs but other races are welcomed to join as well. Hopefully this club will get lots of support from you guys out there. More info on this in my next entry!

Meanwhile, I’ve just learnt a new sentence, ‘houson zou’, which means ‘I’m hungry’. It’s a really useful phrase ‘cos of its flexibility. You can use it when you’re hungry (for food), and you can use it when you’re ‘hungry’ for some hugging and smooching sessions, and other possibilities as well hehe!