Thursday, December 29, 2011

Say what you mean

I think I have lost count of the life lessons I learn from Hamoodi. Here is another one. I can't believe there are moments of me being such a girl - the saying one thing but meaning another thing part.

Hamoodi: Why did you come to the camera shop with me?
Me: Because I want to learn photography!
Hamoodi: ... Not because of me?
Me: .... And also because of you.
Hamoodi: You don't have to say that if you don't want to.
Me: What do you mean by that?
Hamoodi: You don't care about me.
Me: What?! How could you say that? Of course I care about you!
Hamoodi: But you did it for your own benefit, not for me. You are selfish.
Me: Well, I said that because I don't want to sound like I am your hero, that you cannot communicate with people without me helping you.
Hamoodi: But I do need your help. Why couldn't you just say you went there to help me?
Me: Because I don't want you to feel like I am doing you a favour by going to the shop with you. I went with you not because I wanted to help you. But because I like to spend time with you, talk to you and stuff. I don't want you to thank me for that.
Hamoodi: But I did say 'thank you'.
Me: Exactly what I don't want you to do. I don't want you to feel like you owe me. So I lied. Fine, I am sorry. I should have told you that I went there because I cared about you, that I worried that the boss may not understand you the way I do. Do you really think that I like photography? If I like photography that much I could have bought my own camera and stuff.
Hamoodi: Then why didn't you just tell me this the first time I asked you?
Me: Because... *declared defeat* Because girls say things that they don't mean! You have to listen in between the words we say to get what we say.

To cut things short, we resolved our conflicts :) I am glad that we talk things out. Effective communication and attentive listening are very important in a relationship, any kind of relationship. The more a person means to us, the more reasons for us to communicate properly to ensure we stay the same page and understand each other better.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Can't wait!

Hamoodi: So we will be exchanging gifts on Christmas day, ya?
Me, totally puzzled: 'Exchanging' gift?
Hamoodi: Yes, on the 25th! :)
Me: But I've given you your gift! Do you remember that gingerbread man?
Hamoodi: No, Christmas gift must only be given on Christmas day.
Me: =.=

I need to have a word with whoever comes up with this 'rule'. It's not the matter of shopping for Christmas gift (again). Friends who know me well will understand that it's always a torture for me to buy a gift and KEEP IT till a particular special day then only I get to give it to the recipient.

Christmas faster come! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011


I just read Sweek's blogpost about re-connecting with people. It reminds me of an incident happened recently which also reminded me on this issue.

There is a friend whom I become close with, and share a lot of concerns and secrets with, too. But we don't get to have long chats everyday, you see. Both of us are busy with our own life and having different group of friends doesn't help the situation.

There was once, I really wished to talk to someone about something happened that day. That friend of mine is an ideal candidate because he's known the background of the issue, I don't have to start all over about it. I went to him, but he was in the middle of something, and he asked me to wait. I told him that I only needed a little of his time. But I waited nonetheless.

When he was done, he came to me, as promised. He told me he didn't want to just give me 10 minutes to let me 'get it over with'. Because he needs me more than I need him. I didn't understand, so I listened.

Only then I realised there had been many things he wanted to tell me but was put on hold because we were both busy. And those were the things he didn't tell anyone - not his friends, not his roommate, not even to his family members (for some valid reasons). I guess the reason he only told me was similar, that he didn't have to start all over with the background and everything surrounding the issues, and the fact that I am a neutral third party that will not affect his social life because we have different group of friends.

The point here is, little did I know a pair of listening ears were needed. I thought I was a disturbance to him, to want to tell him things as vague as emotional feeling, my tensed and frustrating day at work, my dilemma, and so on, at the time he was busy, late at night. I re-learnt that a relationship needs effort from both (or more) friends to maintain it. If you don't have time, then MAKE time for each other, and really spend quality time with each other, not just 'touch and go', 'just to inform'. It shouldn't be just me dumping my issues to him and not expecting him to do the same, assuming his life is all rosy and smooth.

In the end, we talked to each other till 3am. Neither of us realised time passed so fast that we only had 4.5 hours left to sleep. But it was worth it. Burden was liften up. We were re-connected. And the best part was, this was not done virtually.

Face-to-face conversation is always the best, if we can afford it. The sad thing about current society is, even when we can enjoy the human touch for a conversation, we choose to bury our heads at phones and tablets and have conversation over the virtual world. Have you ever seen a group of friends, or even a family, sit around the dining table, not talking to each other but was busy with their gadgets in their hands? That's what I meant.

Of course I wish all my friends have life that is peaceful. But have I been sending silent message that I do not want people to come and talk to me about their trouble? I think I need to take the initiative to show that I do care for the people around me.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Things to ponder this Christmas

Last night, Hamoodi and Hemo had their friends come over for some home cook Arabic dinner. They started their cooking at 11:30PM. Neither of the above sentences is a lie :)

I was excited at this because
1. I got to taste Arabic food!
2. it was really impressive to watch 4 guys cook!

They let me help them to wash the rice. That's all. They did all the peeling and grating carrots, chopping beef, slicing tomatoes, squeezing lemon, washing, and the cooking of the sauce. I thought I was only going to observe how they cooked it and go to bed. But I couldn't sleep because I wondered about the end product. So I stayed up and waited with them. And in the end, I ate with them, at 3AM. What an experience!

As I was talking to Mahmoud, one of their friends, I realise that many of the impression we get from media about conservative Arabic countries are twisted. But I am not sure if they actually know what is written about them in those mainstream media, because they have relatively poor English. That is what worries me - if it is wrongly portrayed with intention, neither the subject nor reader will know. And that is probably why the gap between us is getting wider and mutual understanding seems like a fairy tale.

For example, women were not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia (I think they recently passed a law to allow women to drive). It's actually a privilege for the women because they get to be chauffered around by the men. And as a son, if his mother asks him to drive her (sometimes the sisters may come along too) to shopping mall, they cannot say no to their mother. If their sister wants to go out but he is not free, she still has other brothers to go to. Generally they have big families. In some cases, even if the guys dislike going to shopping mall, they will still send the women there upon request, and the guys will stay in the car while waiting for the ladies to finish their shopping. Only a tiny percentage of women demanded for freedom to drive while the rest accepted the culture well.

They agree that their country gives little freedom to the people. But those restrictions are there for a good reason. Take alcoholism. Yes they don't have the freedom to drink. But they think it is a good ban to begin with. Because drinking alcohol is bad for health, not to mention it is ultimately a sin in their religion. Period.

I always thought Arabic countries will take their stand to help the Palestinians at anyway possible. I was wrong. It is easier for them to come to Malaysia than to travel to other Arab countries, he said. For some of them: Palestinians who were born and raised in Saudi Arabia are not considered as citizen in either country. First is because Palestine is not a recognised country so Palestine does not have 'citizens'. Second is because, well, the other Arab countries don't really welcome them. In Mahmoud's case, he gets to come to Malaysia with a passport he receives from Egyptian government with a blank space at the nationality column. And strange enough, even though the passport is from Egyptian government, the latter itself does not appprove the validity of the passport.

And about Taliban. Taliban is everywhere, he said. And the reason the Taliban will always exist because each of the member has lost their father or brother or son to the American soldiers. They're in to 'kill those who kill'. Say, if a village was bombed by the American soldiers and someone lost his father during the casualty, he will want to join the Taliban to fight back. And if he dies in the war, his brother will want to join the Taliban to revenge for his brother and father. And the US will add more troops because the Taliban is still there and kicking. It is a vicious cycle. If only forgiveness, reconciliation, mutual respect and understanding come easy for both parties.

It is something very relevant to ponder upon and pray about especially during this Christmas. Don't you think so?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hamoodi and Hemo have never eaten ginger bread man. They have only seen it in TV. So is their Christmas experience. I have had quite decent Christmas celebration in recent years. Yet I realise neither have I tried any gingerbread man before, even though I did read about the runaway gingerbread man during my childhood.

When Hamoodi asked me about gingerbread man, I thought they can be easily found in most bakeries, even during normal time of the year. I honestly didn't relate them with Christmas until Szuchen suggested that it should be easier to find it now because of the festive season.

At the end, when I was about to give up searching for it in Empire, the relatively higher end shopping mall in my area, I found it in Coffee Bean! I thought I saw bright spotlight illuminating the basket of ginger bread man on the counter when I stepped into the cafe.

So I bought one for each of them. When I whisked out their advanced Christmas gift from my shopping bag to show them, their expression was priceless! Yeah, I do have 2 kids in my house :) The best moment was when they excitedly cleaned their study table and laid the two gifts nicely on it to take pictures of them. I still find it really amusing and adorable. Things that I take for granted, such as celebrating Christmas, is actually something new to them.

Of course I do hope they will understand the reason behind such celebration, which is our Father who loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us, so that we shall no longer be separated from Him by sin. Christmas is more than just buying gifts or fancy decoration or even roast turkey for dinner. It's the spirit of generosity and care, forgiveness and thanksgiving, with love.

It is through them that I rediscover the joy of Christmas. I am still trying to fast for Christmas, as I spend my lunch time praying and reflecting about Christmas. An ideal Christmas would be sharing this message of love and warmth of this festive season with others.

Merry Christmas in advance!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Unexpected 2

I was going through Hamoodi's homework with him. Whenver he wrote wrongly he would use the eraser at the butt of his pencil to erase the error.

Me: Hey, why don't you buy a separate piece of eraser? You're about to use up this eraser but the pencil is still very long. That means you do need a separate piece of eraser.

Hamoodi: How about I give you the money and you help me to buy one?

Me: Haha, no way, don't be such a baby. Go buy it yourself!

Hamoodi: But I don't know where to buy it *sad puppy face*

Me: That's easy. Why don't you go back to the same shop where you bought this pencil?

Hamoodi: I bought this pencil when I was still in Saudi Arabia.

Me: OWH REALY?! *carefully examine the pencil*

It was indeed very different from what we have in Malaysia. It even had Arabic words carved on the wooden shaft. Then I burst out laughing very loudly (again) when I came across this on the shaft:


Our Saudi friend here bought an Indonesia product and brought it to Malaysia, which is just a neighbouring country of Indonesia :)

Thank you for the good time, brother :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


So I have two Middle Eastern male housemates staying upstairs. Just now, at living hall...

A: Hey, look at this *grin*
Me: Oh wow! This is a very good looking wallet! (It's Billabong)
A: Right? Is it cool?
Me: Yes it is cool! Is it new in market?
A: Yes. I just bought it from Petaling Street. *wide grin*
me: I see. How much is this?
A: The guy in Petaling Street said RM100, and we said 'No, no, not RM100.'
Me: So how much did you pay for this?
A: RM20

And the three of us(his roommate also present) burst out laughing. I laughed very loud. I didn't expect it to be this funny and I haven't been laughing out loud like this for 6 days. To be honest, that wallet looked genuine!

More to come!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The past two weeks... :)

It has been a crazy week at work. Some staff were away for Deepavali holidays. Sometimes I'm not sure if I prefer an exhausting day at work and eventually collapse on bed right after work till the next morning, even skipping dinner altogether, or just a normal tiring day with really good appetite for dinner. No, I still manage to go home on time. It's either it's still not too bad or we are efficient. But I do feel like robot sometimes. Work. Crash. Wake up and work again, only to collapse again for more work after that.

For the past two weeks, I've had really wonderful time hanging out with lovely people on and off. It started off with meeting up with Ervina and staying over at her place during KDU Pro-Am Debate. It did help me to decide to go for Piala Perdana Menteri (PPM) in IIUM during the following weekend, because I got to stay over at her place again, even though accommodation for adjudicators has been arranged to be at Vistana Hotel. It was a dilemma for me because I also wanted to go watch my own junior debaters in MOHEC in UM. But since Ervina was flying back to Washington soon, it made it easier for me to decide.

I really love the time I got to cook and have breakfast with Ervina everyday before I went off for debate and she to her own business. It's the peace in the morning over nice breakfast, sincere conversation and beautiful view from her condo that made the weekend like a great holiday to recharge myself.

And met Jun Hoe and Salwa during PPM, and Shu Shi, Jeremy and Wei Loong. During that weekend, I managed to went for a movie in KLCC with debaters from other institution: Alexxx, Alex and Sarah. I did enjoy the company and Real Steel. And the reason I like Real Steel is not because of Hugh Jackman.

And the finest touch to end my great weekend, was Kevin's birthday dinner in Chili's at KLCC on Monday. It was a heart-warming dinner. It always is, meeting the UKM debaters up. More laughter and discussion and catching-ups and taking pictures.

Then come Deepavali, which was a Wednesday. I went shopping alone. I don't remember when was the last time I had such 'fruitful' time - visiting Kinokuniya and bought random books and also found books which I had been waiting for. And shop for clothes and shoes. I used to date myself a lot when I stayed in KL. It became harder to do so since I've moved to Subang Jaya. I think I should resume this, even though it takes more effort now. If I exhaust myself during weekdays, I have enough reasons to pamper myself during the weekend (or whatever that was left), right?

The next day, a dinner with dinosaurs at Italianiese at Gardens, after work. Fea (whom I am now officially a fan of), Jun Hoe, Alia and Salwa. More laughter again and sharing over good food. There wasn't a thing about Fea that I didn't miss. Over the years, I still adore her the same way I did since I first met her.

It was late and I neeed to get a cab. An honest cab. I got panicked because I lost my way and couldn't get cab that didn't cut my throat for fare. I was glad I wasn't alone to go through all this. Despite the fact that I could be quite independent now and take care of myself or even defend myself from being cheated by taxi drivers who try to take advantage of my desperation to go back, I think it still speaks volume when there's a man with me. Have I told you I am afraid to be alone in the darkness? That includes in a shopping mall when all shops in it has closed. Worst still, I got lost IN it. I am glad to have a friend who is there when I can't hold on. And he has always been, too.

Last but not least, a good lunch with Szuchen and Bee Suan in a Japanese restaurant near my place after work today. It was an impromptu decision, but a great time nonetheless. The 3 of us finally have the time to sit down and have proper meal and catch up. Their presence makes working in the lab more bearable.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

28min 56sec

I don't know what is it with you, or between us, that we can have such good conversation over the phone. I don't remember when was the last time I had such a long chat over the phone, and the conversation was pleasant and made me smile. We had to end our conversation because you received an incoming international call. We talked about serious stuff like health insurance, to petty stuff like moving into new rooms. We laughed. We talked slowly. We listened. Things have changed between us but I agree that it is for the better. Some people say couples don't remain as friends after they break up. It's either they were never into each other, or still are. I guess we are the former type then.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fast and Pray

Today is the 33rd day of Fast and Pray for Nation program by NECF. I've been fasting from lunch for the past 31 days. I've lost 4kgs. But that's not the most important point here. I realise that our body is really amazing. I am surprise that despite this being the first time I commit to such a long duration lunch-fasting, my body didn't give me any problem with my daily routine. Of course, when you're only 25 years old, your body is still fairly flexible to adapt to changes. But if you know me well, I am the first person a dietition would give up talking into dieting for health reason. I cannot skip any meal and I have very low resistance to good food. Come on, I grew up in Malaysia! It took me about a week to decide which kind of fasting I want to be committed to, and if it is possible to sit down and pray in replace of the time spent doing such activilty in normal days. When I was considering lunch, my biggest concern would be me not meeting my colleagues up for lunch for the next 40 days. Can I not join them for lunch for so long yet still have them being close friends to me at work? Will I miss out a lot of their news and updates when I am not around them? Will I even find a quiet place in hospital to sit down and pray during my lunch break? However, it turned out that fasting from lunch is the best option. Because I get to insert a mid-day prayer session in my busy day. It is truly a -break- for me. When I have breakfast in the morning, I make conscious effort to pray for the food I eat to sustain me for the rest of the day till dinner time. And also to submit the day into God's hand with the breakfast He has provided me with. I am amazed to see how I manage to go through a day with usual portion of breakfast, without lunch, AND not feeling hungry! Of course, I am aware of the desire for food during lunch time. Because normally I do my prayer at coffee shop in my hospital. That's the only place I can find table and chair to sit down and write prayers. But well, I guess I can differentiate desire and need better now. Sometimes I do feel extra hungry during dinner. But it's still desire. Honestly sometimes I do eat more during dinner. But there are times I can be satisfied with only my usual portion of dinner, too. The 4kgs tell a lot about me not "Eating back" what I'v "lost", huh? I remember very well that during my first day of fasting during this time (I've tried fasting previously but it was only for a day), I still went for swimming right after work. And I didn't feel weak. Second day, I even thought I could go on without dinner too, haha. But well, I allow myself to just enjoy my dinner. Nonetheless, it amazes me at how far I could go, and how little we actually -need- to survive. And I feel good and more alert in the afternoon without lunch to digest in my stomach. I can concentrate better at work, not feeling sleepy or lazy. If I was not fasting but merely skipping meal, I'd be a really cranky person and experience hypoglycaemia starting from my lunch time. I think I've gotten use to this routine and I told my colleagues that I am considering to continue this fast and pray routine. Their reply upon hearing this was heart-warming: they told me they were counting down to the day I'm done with this fasting thing and can finally join them during lunch time, just like before :) One more thing I like about spending lunch time praying to God instead of with colleagues is that I get to catch up with God befor I get to catch up with my colleagues. Of course, I do enjoy the time I spend with them - that is why it was one of my concern mentioned above. But I can always catch up with them later, in the lab after lunch or something. If there are things left out, maybe they're just not that important to take note anyway. It reminds me that no matter what, go to Papa first before others. I also learn that this group of friends at work place really care for me because they have been really understanding about me choosing God over them. They have been supportive, and even made dinner plans instead of lunch for special outing because they know I am fasting from lunch. And despite the fact that I have not joined them for lunch for the past 31 days, they never forget to fill me in with important stuff they shared in the group. What else can I say about God's presence when you pray? :) Amazing stuff happens.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I'll never get it right, will I?

Monday, September 5, 2011


Oh I hate to do this in my blog but I just need to, right now. Stuuuupiiiidd hoorrrmmonnee! And I should really, really, just keep quiet. Ok, Cher Linn? Just be patient, ok? Gosh I really hate this. I hate how you make me relate to Uncle Kracker's Smile very well. I hate myself for not backing down when trials come between us - and there are so much of them that I am sure they're meant to break us apart. Why did I act stubbornly when I least needed to? It's a sickening feeling. Hope it's all because of my stupid hormone, and it'll be gone after everything's calmed down.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011


I was on my way to 7-11 nearby when I witnessed a police tried to prevent a car-theft. He threw himself onto the front of the car to make the car stop. There were some other police officers came to help to stop the stolen car from being driven further away, too, by blocking its way with police vehicles.

The thief finally gave up. He opened the car door and ran away. I have to say he was smart, because the only person who could have caught him at that moment was immobilised. The said police's leg was severely injured by the car.

How severe was the injury? Well, I don't know. I heard a trained, tough policeMAN groaned in agony, again and again. He fell on the ground.

I was stunned and scared. For some reason I was afraid to approach the police, thinking that I might disturb his duty. Finally I ran to him and asked if he's ok. I didn't call ambulance because I knew the nearest hospital (the hospital I am working at) didn't have ambulance service. I didn't call police because his colleagues were around already.

Slowly, passerby gathered. Many were discussing how this policeman was such a brave hero. That was true, but apparently not the most important thing to do! I went around asking:

"Is anyone sending him to the hospital now?"

mumble mumble

"Hey, can we send him to the hospital now? The hospital is just right here, down the road, can we just send him there first?"

Someone asked:" Has anyone called the hospital?"

"No, we don't have to! That hospital here doesn't have ambulatory service and it's less than a 5-minutes drive. We only need a car to send him there!"

mumble, discussion, someone said they can use the police car to send, someone said the police was trying to see he can walk.

Eventually someone helped him into the nearly stolen car and drove away.

It left me thinking: many blamed the police for not protecting the best interest of the people during Bersih rally. But how many are aware of the protection that exists now? You have police that is willing to die to defend and protect you. Maybe not all police are as committed. But there are still police who wear the royal police badge with pride and dignity, who live out its sanctity.

The day after the rally, I read from NST an article by Zainul Arifin.

"Bersih 2.0 was attracting counter-rallies that suggested security would be an issue. The police must react in anticipation of trouble, and not after the fact.

If Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk S. Ambiga claimed that it was her constitutional right to assemble, then it must also be that if Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin and Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali, too. Now, the three would have been a volatile mix. Should the police not have acted?"

And I also asked myself: How many of us has an occupation that require us to constantly be ready to give up our lives for others? Are you ready to let go of your love ones, comfort zone and the like, every time you clock in to work?

I don't. I clock in, thinking about my swimming session after work. I clock in, thinking that it's time I apply leave for debate tournaments during the weekends. I told myself not to cut my fingers while doing sectioning because that is the biggest hazard I can think of. And compare cutting my finger to losing a leg or even, life.

We do have heroes in Malaysia. Heroes without datukship. But Lord, please let them live long enough to tell their courageous tale themselves.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mr. Chef

Thank you for taking the time to explain to me the concept and philosophy behind your cafe which was opened for business since May 2010. Being a fan of your cafe, I am interested to understand more about the hard work behind the scene and every thoughtful decisions that pave the way to your success today. Thanks to my past experience as a waiter, I can somehow comprehend how it is like to run a  busy dining place.

Going with the idea of simple and, to an extent, typical, I guess what makes your dishes extraordinary is your attitude in serving your food. You said you'll never serve anything less than excellent, and I can testify that. I need not to tell you how your cafe has managed to make patrons pass great reviews to their friends and families. They adore your cakes and other confectioneries to bits ever since the first time they try it. And they keep coming back for more. They love the ambience so much that they'd like to bring friends there for a cozy hangout place. They write about it in blogs and twitter. They post pictures.

To me, what I find most interesting about your cafe in this area is the fact that there is no other cafe like yours in Subang. Starbucks cafe cannot rival your cafe because they don't serve as many proper and delicious food like you do. I love the pastas and sandwiches, even though I did suggest you to add more variety to the existing menu. Yet I also look forward to your every new menu that comes the way. Secret Recipe cannot rival you either because it clearly doesn't have the jazzy environment to go along well with the cakes served. And the rest of the eating places in this area, well, they just don't have the civilised, friendly kind of crowd as patrons. It is interesting how your cafe stands out among the eating places in this area, without trying to be too fancy or expensive. Having a catchy name for your cafe does help. Coupled with what I've mentioned above, it's just impressive.

I'm totally fine with your idea of wanting to keep it a cafe style and not wanting to cross the line of being a restaurant. Thanks for enlightening me. I've never put much thought to differentiate your cafe from other well known restaurants. I guess the main reason is because your cafe has achieved what ordinary restaurants would want to - reputation and consistent flow of customer wise. I am also fine with your way of running the restaurant - having to pay upon ordering food at the counter, and food be served later. And we seldom get to talk to the chef-cum-owner at other well-reviewed cafe, unlike how it is at your place.

So please, don't change anything that you feel you've got it right, or what makes you hold on to at the moment. Because you are doing a fantastic job by introducing your unique ideas through your cafe. And I'm not the only one that likes it this way, too. Thanks for giving me this comfort zone in Subang. Though I'm quite an adventurous eater, I feel very much at home now.

I wish you all the best in running your cafe and achieve more than what you've expected. Yes you cannot please everyone. But remember, this is your cafe, your idea, your blood and sweat, in every inch of flooring, every sieve of flour and every fiber on the couch. It is outstanding in your own way, so keep what is uniquely yours.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mr. Chef

With me staring at the cover of the book and read the title out loud:

"Inside A Man's Brain, hmm..."

You replied:

"Oh, please don't believe in what the book says."

I hope you're trying to imply that you are different :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unnecessary labeling

It's ok if a guy goes after a girl but receives rejection because the girl is not interested with him. But if a Chinese girl rejects the love from an Indian guy that means she is narrow-minded, racist, old-fashioned and the like. It's ok if the girl continues to avoid the guy after rejecting him. But if the admiration was from someone with same gender, the avoider is a homophobic.
Why can't we understand the lack of interest and awkwardness which leads to the avoidance as they are?

If an anti-Bersih rally article published by the mainstream media, it is called bias and unjust. If the mainstream media is pro-Bersih rally, that means it is trustworthy.
Mainstream media doesn't always say things the customers want to hear. But if one day the mainstream media becomes the "alternative" media, their unfavorable and opposing views are still important - as important as the current alternative media.

If a Muslim killed a handful of people, it's an Islamic extremist terror. If a Christian killed a handful of people, it's called a shooting spree.
If all religions have their share of followers who misrepresented their faith, why is it relevant to label criminals like this?

If a Chinese writes about the lazy Malays it's called racism. If the article is published under a Malay name it calls for repentance.
Why can't we analyse what was written without looking at the identity of the writers?

If Christians vote for Kris Allen, he won the American Idol title because of the Christians vote. And the Christians like Kris Allen simply because he is a Christian. But if non-Christians vote for Kris Allen that means they're fair. Likewise for homosexual voters and Adam Lambert.
Why can't we appreciate at the size of support without looking at the identity of the supporters?

If a Christian leader attends a non-Christian religious function that means he does not discriminate other religions. If a Christian leader attend a Christian function, that means he wants to make Malaysia a Christian country.

If an African American votes for Barack Obama that means his analysis is only skin-deep (pun intended). If a Caucasian American votes for Barack Obama that means he is not a racist.
Actually, a white man can still be a racist if he votes for a black man for the sole reason of the former wanting a black man to win. Any black man.

Why can't we just look at what has happened without labeling people with unrelated titles?

The worst is this:
If a profound Christian professor converts to Islam willingly the Muslims say no one can deny the truth because even a highly educated person with critical mind testifies that. The Christian does the same when a zealous Muslim or Buddhist converts to Christianity.

Since when does a religion need conversion of a certain individual to confirm its validity?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Text me!

I still love conversations via SMS.

Me: U know what, i'm in chef's place now. Mr.chef saw me&said to me: long time no see. Hahaha :D
Keh Len: Haha he missed u! Lol :)
Me: Hahaha!i bet he is!anyway,how r u doing,my dear? :) how's LI?just finished work?
Keh Len: Nah LI ended already. Doing some part time job during weekends :) got no juicy updates for me? Let me know when u make ur move lol
Me: Haha,no way,d biggest move i did was asked his name.His name is Ahmad&he extended his hand while he asked mine,hehe.but i doubt he'll rmber my name tho
Me: Btw,what part time job r u working as nw?hey,mayb u can take another part time at chef's place&feed me wt gossips about him everyday!haha
Keh Len: Some promoter job. Aaah so he has a name! Good good first ask name. Then ask to be friends. Then go on a date. Ur strategy not bad! :) go cher linn!
Me: Haaha,but i shall not make anymore moves until he does.i need to jual mahal sikit because the pasta i ate just now also quite mahal :p
Keh Len: Haha expensive but worth it lol. At least ure paying for ur sweet dreams tonight also! :)
Me: hope he at least asks me out in my dream,haha!so hw long will ur part time job last?as long as u like?r u coming to UKM IV next weekend?jst2c d kids :)
Keh Len: Yea i work any time i like. Haha see d kids? im so old already. Have plans this weekend but maybe we meet up next week or sth? Wanna catch up :)
Me: Sure.must meet up&catch up soon!Beatrice&Maggie were saying Subang ppl shld have an outing together some time :) u take care then.
Keh Len: Haha ure subang person now. Ok ok goodnight :) sweet dreams lol

With the invasion of Facebook and other social media, I find lesser people are into sending text messages with SMS anymore, let alone having a good conversation back and forth like that. Well, we still can send personal messages via those media and all, but it's just different to receive it as an SMS.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


One of the thing Sweeks asked us to reflect on during our daily 15 minutes reflection period is: How will my action influence the people around me/ What kind of impact does my action bring to the people around me?

It is indeed a very important question. From the things we say, the way we say things to little actions that leave certain feeling in people's heart, it all matters.

For Sweeks, what he did over the weekend for the debating team has made me not only look forward to the coming UKM IV during the weekend. It actually makes me look forward to my 4 days working days prior to the tournament as well. I don't just see them as they are just 4 more working days to endure, but 4 more days to live and hope to bring little change, little warmth and little inspiration to wherever I go or to whoever I be with.

I am drained and tired after the training camp. I have not been having an intensive training camp for years. Even this time, I didn't receive the full blow of intensity under Sweek's round the clock debate and workshops schedule as compared to the juniors who had been there since Friday. Yet I feel exhausted nonetheless.

However, all is worthwhile. I brought home ideas and thoughts I've newly adopted.

And I also brought back Cher Linn, refreshed.

P/s: It's rare for me to have a hard time to fall sleep -even after a long day- on a reasonably comfortable bed. Normally I can sleep soundly once my head hit the pillow. Well, maybe because I didn't have a night light switched on for me on Saturday night in the hotel.

It's just ... weird.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Breath-taking innocence

I was at Sunday School this morning.

Teacher: So children, we know that the Bible says if you have Christ in your life, you are the salt of the world. But how about others who don't?
Kid: Then they are SUGAR!

Kids :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

feel like traveling!

Don't you just love pictures of beautiful places? :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Saw this picture from a website shared by Shalisha. The related article is here. It says that these shelves can hold 10 tons of book!

Impressive, isn't it? ;-) But where do I put the lazy chair??

Monday, July 4, 2011

Ini Malaysia, kah?

I was again at the new mamak restaurant I spoke about in previous post.

Halfway through my Naan Pisang, there were commotion outside the shoplots. The workers of the restaurant stood still at the entrance of the restaurant, staring out, and even the passerby began to gather. I got curious and went to have a look, too.

There were men shouting at each other. A Chinese young man was pointing a big pen knife, with the knife pushed out, at another man. There were some other men quarreling at the background, too. A security was seen trying to separate the men and calm down whoever he could. The second man then ran across the street to my restaurant side and picked up a brick on the floor and pointed it at the Chinese man direction, too. Surprise how odd/ dangerous tools were there when you least wanted them to be. I was gripping my phone tightly. My instinct told me to call the police. But I was too panic that I didn't know what to say if I did make the call. So I watched on.

The Chinese man was not threatened by the brick. In fact, he ran over to our side also, and his following shouting became loud and clear, hammering into my head, and cut my heart.

"Ini Malaysia! Ini Malaysia!"

For that moment, I stared at the Chinese man who was so mad that veins were seen bulging at his temple. There must have been something horrible happened between them, which I had no idea about. The foreigner must have felt wrongly judged, too, that's why he was (or had the audacity to be) equally pissed.

With that phrase ringing loudly in my ear, that moment was the loneliest time I have in Subang, despite the fact that I've been pretty lonely during most of the days since I've moved here. I felt what little joy left in me was sucked out by that heart-piercing statement.

Since I moved here, I tried very hard not to breathe a word about my loneliness which is depressing me, and focus on the little joy I have. But 9 months is quite unbearable for me now.

I screamed in my heart: I am a Malaysian too! But I feel like a foreigner none the less.

After a while, I went back to my Naan Pisang. And Teh Ais kurang manis. I almost cried over my dinner.

My Naan Pisang was prepared by a Bangladeshi.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Lost Soul

I just came back from a debate tournament over the weekend. The decision to join them was made on Friday night right before I headed to bed. On Saturday morning, I dressed up to work as usual, brought an extra pen with me, and off I went to IMU right after my work.

It's always amazing how comforting it is by just being around with debaters. I didn't know many of the participants in this particular tournament. As usual, being an independent adjudicator, it is still quite lonely sometimes. But the bright side is you are more approachable and free to mingle around if you want to. So I have a bit of both sides. I spent enough time being alone to finish a story or two by Roald Dahl and half a copy of newspaper. And I met some old friends for warm catching-up. I also got to know some new friendly people, and genuinely enjoyed their company all along.

I suppose the free meal I had during my time in tournament is suffice to comfort me for forking out taxi fee to get to IMU immediately after work, and early in the morning on Sunday for their rounds. But Omar's inspiring speech during the prize giving ceremony worth more than what I've paid for to go there. There are just times we need people to look into our eyes and tell us that we need to get back our passion for persuasive speaking skill. In general, it may not necessarily be about debating. Yet living with passion for the things you hold dearly probably is the way to avoid us being alive but merely existing.

I find debaters to be a more comfortable crowd to be with, too, than those judgmental, self-justified, holier-than-thou Christians whom you meet in church every Sunday. Sometimes I even find debaters to be more understanding than fellow Christians. Of course, it is unfair to apply this to all debaters and Christians. Still, debaters listen to both sides of the story and are curious about the background of an opinion. It makes you dare to ask questions and speak boldly for something you stand for. While in the church setting, most are just too afraid to rock the boat than rebuking when necessary.

I felt the sincere concern from Shaq when he asked me about my new job in Subang. And I appreciate him going into details about his chambering experience. I appreciate Omar for spending his time explaining his non-debate-related plan for near future. I felt like that was the most meaningful 5 minutes spent listening. I do not feel the same level of warmth coming from most of my churchmates whom I meet every Sunday. However, some aunties are really nice to me. They invited me to their house for good quality time on Sunday afternoon and allowed me to hitch a ride with them to and fro church. But the young people in my cell group are not necessarily so. The conversations we had every Sunday morning during refreshment were really superficial - I need to balance between getting to know them better without sounding too busybody. Someone warned me about them being cliquey before I joined them. I dismissed the idea altogether because I didn't know them by then. But now I am facing the full blow of the reality.

You may say that it's unfair to compare the church members whom I only know for 8 months to the debating friends whom I've known for years. I tried to convince myself this way, too, that relationship takes time to build and etc. But it's hard to keep telling myself this when I realise the new African friends I made this weekend would be my choice of company over any church friends I can think of right now to just sit down and say nothing.

It's the right kind of people that I miss. Subang is still the place I dislike the most because there isn't a soul I can just sit down and watch time pass and feel really contented at the same time. I still feel like a foreigner among the people who ask you "How are you" every Sunday.

A week ago I was at the verge of consulting a psychiatry for suspected depression. I do not use the term depression lightly. I only began to consider this possibility when I realise the emotion has dragged on for months. What make it worst is the show I have to put up on every Sunday morning, in front of people who barely bother to build their side of the bridge in this relationship.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

24 jam mamak

There's this mamak restaurant around my area. On its signboard, it reads "Restaurant Ali Baba 24 jam". The thing is, I've never seen it opens for business. If it's really "24 jam", they should be opened whenever I pass by, right? If for some reason the mamak restaurant is no longer in business, why doesn't the owner of the unit remove the signboard so that other interested party may rent it for some other business? I even suspected some illegal business was going on behind the closed door of the shop, lol.

Side story: My parents used to rent out one of their houses to some people who turned out to be pirate DVDs maker. That said house is only next to the house we live in. One night, a group of police came knocking at next door and arrested them, together with all the machines and everything. We were shocked because we had no idea about their business at all before the arrest. And it was Imagine that.

So back to the mysterious mamak restaurant. Today as I was on my way to another chinese coffee shop, I passed by the mamak restaurant and it was opened for business! It had tables and chairs and the typical mamak restaurant look. I decided to give it a try.

There was a huge menu board on the wall. Some dishes were new to me. I tried to order Roti Salad, to which the waiter replied they didn't have the dish.

Side story 2: There's another famous mamak restaurant in my area named Hassan. I love their Tosai Pisang to bits and until now, Tosai Pisang is only available in Hassan - no other mamak restaurant has even heard about this dish.

My second attempt was Naan Pisang, for they didn't have Tosai Pisang on the board. I guessed it's not too difficult to compare their Naan Pisang to Hassan's Tosai Pisang and next time I can choose which mamak restaurant to go to for my mamak cravings. Surprise, surprise, the waiter said Naan Pisang was also not available.

With frustration I asked if they didn't have such a dish, why did they put it on their menu board. The waiter quickly suggested that he could "try" making my Naan Pisang. I was like, hooold on! 'What did you mean "try"?' Oh nevermind, so what is the dish you're familiar with? Nann Kaya? Can you make me Naan Kaya? Ok? Good! And teh ais kurang manis. Betul-betul kurang manis, ok?

As expected, the first teh ais served was too sweet. I asked them to redo it. I'd rather them to hate me than me drinking teh ais that is too sweet.

Side story 3: There was once I joined my colleagues at a malay restaurant. I told the waiter that their teh ais was too sweet. Then they brought me the original teh ais diluted with water. Kurang manis doesn't mean tambah air ok!

The mamak waiter then brought me a new glass of drink. The taste of the tea was not covered by the sweetness of condensed milk and even it tasted a bit bitter - just the way I like it. I was happy. The waiter then told me his experience taught him that if it's a chinese customer, usually he'd ask the cook to prepare the drink with less sweetness than usual, even if the customer didn't make such request.

Whatever everyone thinks about the offence of stereotyping and racism and whatnot, in this case it doesn't matter as long as they got it right about me. Yes, I like it kurang manis. And I'd make them redo my drink if I'm not satisfied with it. So don't be surprise that sometimes I'd rather order plain water just to skip the hassle of repeating "kurang manis" for the bazillion times and make them redo my drinks.

Then came my Naan Kaya. From far I saw him applying kaya onto the freshly baked naan. I was thinking: Are you for real? Just apply a layer of kaya on the naan and call it naan kaya? So not impresive! I was expecting the kaya to be in the naan, just like cheese naan does.

But I was glad I was totally wrong. I mean, half wrong. Yes, their naan kaya was just plain naan and a layer of kaya on top. But the whole dish turned out to look really grand! The naan was almost like glowing with their tan, sexy kaya layer on it. I was impressed and I couldn't believe that I was. Simple dish, but great experience.

Half way through my meal, the waiter drop by my table to ask me how my food was. Talk about good dining experience and service! When I was waitressing in a restaurant with highly demanding customers, managers said it's a policy for us to ask every customers at our tables about their food and take note of their comments. I told them it was very good. I even told him to remember the recipe of the teh ais kurang manis - my version. I told them the next time I come, they must use the same recipe for me.

Because I'm sure I'll go there again soon. :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Printed Gossips

I always tell myself that I don't need to buy newspaper because I can read them online. I'm sure I will go online to check mails and whatnot before sleep. So it shouldn't be hard for me to just check out the headlines also.

Nah. That's a lie. It doesn't sound like one. How hard is it to visit a website and briefly glance through the screaming headlines? But I'm always distracted by something else, such as a Youtube video shared by a friend on Facebook or new sick comic strips by Oatmeal.. And end up climbing onto bed without reading anything beneficial.

So maybe the only solution is still to buy a copy of newspaper and read it, at least once a week. One of the good thing about printed newspaper is the advertisement in it. Who knows, it might have something I am looking for? Since young I always find newspapers to contain too many big words hence I concluded it's only for the serious adults like my dad. Now, it still contains words too big for me to digest. But, it's long overdue for me to start to make it a habit.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.

Chapter 20 (My personal favourite chapter from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk)

The tears were really coming now, and one fat stripe rolled along the barrel of the gun and down the loop around the trigger to burst flat against my index finger. Raymond Hessel closed both eyes so I pressed the gun hard against his temple so he would always feel it pressing right there and I was beside and this was his life and he could be dead at any moment.
This wasn't a cheap gun, and I wondered if salt might fuck it up.
Everything had gone so easy, I wondered. i'd done everything the mechanic said to do. This was why we needed  to buy a gun. This was doing my homework. We each had to bring Tyler twelve driver's licenses. This would prove we each made twelve human sacrifices.
I parked tonight, and I waited around the block for Raymond Hessel to finish his shift at the all-night Korner Mart, and around midnight he was waiting for a night owl bus when I finally walked up and said, hello.
Raymond Hessel, Raymond didn't say anything. Probably he figured I was after his money, his minimum wage, the fourteen dollars in his wallet. Oh, Raymond Hessel, all twenty-three years of you, when you started crying, tears rolling down the barrel of my gun pressed to your temple, no, this wasn't about money. Not everything is about money.
You didn't even say, hello.
You're not your sad little wallet.
I said, nice night, cold but clear.
You didn't even say, hello.
I said, don't run, or I'll have to shoot you in the back. I had the gun out and I was wearing a latex glove so if the gun ever became a people's exhibit A, there'd be nothing on it except the dried tears of Raymond Hessel, Caucasian, aged twenty-three with no distinguishing marks.
Then I had your attention. Your eyes were big enough  that even in the streetlight I could see they were antifreeze green.
You were jerking backward and backward a little more every time the gun touched your face, as if the barrel was too hot or too cold. Until I said, don't step back, and then you let the gun touch you, but even then you rolled your head up and away from the barrel.
You gave me your wallet like I asked.
Your name was Raymond K. Hessel on your driver's license. You live at 1320 SE Benning, apartment A. That had to be a basement apartment. They usually give basement apartment letters instead of numbers.
Raymond K. K. K. K. K. K. Hessel, I was talking to you.
Your head rolled up and away from the gun, and you said, yeah. You said, yes, you lived in a basement.
You had some pictures in the wallet, too. There was your mother.
This was a tough one for you, you'd have to open your eyes and see the picture of Mom and Dad smiling and see the gun at the same time, but you did,  and then your eyes closed and you started to cry.
You were going to cool, the amazing miracle of death. One minute, you're a person, the next minute, you're an object, and Mom and Dad would have to call old doctor whoever and get your dental records because there wouldn't be much left of your face, and Mom and Dad, they'd always expected so much more from you and, no, life wasn't fair, and now it was come to this.
Fourteen dollars.
This, I said, is this your mom?
Yeah. You were crying, sniffing, crying. You swallowed. Yeah.
You had a library card. You had a video movie rental card. A social security card. Fourteen dollars cash. I wanted to take the bus pass, but the mechanic said to only take the driver's license. An expired community college student card.
You used to study something.
You'd worked up a pretty intense cry at this point so I pressed the gun a little harder against your cheek, and you started to step back until I said, don't move or you're dead right here. Now, what did you study?
In college, I said. You have a student card.
Oh, you didn't know, sob, swallow, sniff, stuff, biology.
Listen, now, you're going to die, Ray-mond K. K. K. Hessel, tonight, you might die in one second or in one hour, you decide. So lie to me. Tell me the first thing off the top of your head. Make something up, I don't give a shit. I have the gun.
Finally, you were listening and coming out of the little tragedy in your head.
Fill in the blank. What does Raymond Hessel want to be when he grows up?
Go home, you said you just wanted to go home, please.
No shit, I said. But after that, how did you want to spend your life? If you could do anything in the world.
Make something up.
You didn't know.
Then you're dead right now, I said. I said, now turn your head.
Death to commence in ten, in nine, in eight.
A vet, you said. You want to be a vet, a veterinarian.
That means animals. You have to go to school for that.
it means too much school, you said.
You could be in school working your ass off, Raymond Hessel, or you could be dead. You choose. I stuffed your wallet into the back pocket of your jeans. So you really wanted to be an animal doctor.I took the saltwater muzzle of the gun off one cheek and pressed it against the other. Is that what you've always wanted to be, Dr. Raymond K. K. K. K. Hessel, a veterinarian?
No shit?
No. No, you meant, yeah, no shit. Yeah.
Okay, I said, and I pressed the wet end of the muzzle to the tip of your chin, and then the tip of your nose, and everywhere I pressed the muzzle, it left a wet ring of your tears.
So, I said, go back to school. If you wake up tomorrow morning , you find a way to get back into school. I pressed the wet end of the gun on each cheek, and then on your chin, and then against your forehead and left the muzzle pressed there. you might as well be dead right now, I said.
I have your license.
I know who you are. I know where you live. I'm keeping your license, and I'm going to check on you, mister Raymond K. Hessel. In three months, and then in six months, and then in a year, and if you aren't back in school on your way to being a veterinarian, you will be dead.
You didn't say anything.
Get out of here, and do your little life, but remember I'm watching you, Raymond Hessel, and I'd rather kill you than see you working a shit job for just enough money to buy cheese and watch television.
Now, I'm going to walk away so don't turn around.
This is what Tyler wants me to do.
These are Tyler's words coming out of my mouth.
I'm Tyler's mouth.
I'm Tyler's hands.
Everybody in Project Mayhem is part of Tyler Durden, and vice versa.
Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your entire life.

Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk

I've just finished Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club.

It.was.awesome! The story is only 198 pages long but his writing style is so mind-blowing that even the Afterword tastes good like dessert after meal. When I was half way reading it, I came across a paragraph which I wanted to share it here, but I didn't have the mood and decent internet connection to do so. I went on reading and got fascinated by an entire chapter which I wished to share it here, too. Luckily I didn't. Because at the third quarter of the book, the story gave an unexpected twist and turned out that the entire story was not what I thought it was (note: It's hard enough to finally make sense out of the story by chapter 6).

This book receives a lot of contrasting reviews. Some say it's epic; some, "too dark". I think it is both. It is epic because its darkness was very well portrayed. To some extent, its dark twisted logic makes sense and it is inspiring. Really. And the best part of the writing style is, it fiddles with your subconscious. You'll be reminded of what was said in chapters ahead by just a sentence of 5 words.

I guess I am ready for a Monday :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Don't shake my world.

Today a colleague of mine asked if I felt the tremor. I didn't feel it and had not the chance to read SMS news alert about the earthquake in Sumatra, so I didn't expect to experience such a thing. I wasn't the only one not aware of the coming and passing of such tremor. I'm not sure about others, but usually once I clock in at 9am, I'd either be standing or walking around till around 11:30am. I just want to get things done promptly. With my mind occupied by things at hand, nothing comes in my way when I'm at work. Somehow I think my obsessiveness gives me the adrenaline rush, which is the source of thrill at work place. That explains why normally I am unable to reply messages or pick up calls during this period.

For some reasons, I almost replied "I'm sorry I don't have the time to sit around to feel the tremor" to my colleague. Of course I didn't. I've had enough tension working with people who procrastinate. And double that tension with me being the most junior staff at my bench and keeping everything with myself. I believe no negative word is appreciated.

It's either I need to tone down my obsessiveness or dying patients do deserve to wait for 3 days for something that can be done in 30 minutes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The 8th month

Ever since I moved to Subang for this new job, I find it harder to depart from BM to KL every time I come back home. I first noticed it during Feb this year. Then April. Now, June. I have been staying away from home since my national service back in early 2004. Each year after that I spent less than 4 months at home. At one point I actually thought Penang is just some really nice place to live in, but I still can live without, and one day I'm going to call KL/ Klang Valley area my home and there would be where my heart belongs.

I've lost touch with most of my secondary school friends and honestly I only miss one or two of them. If they're not around town, then I'd really have no friends in this place. It's not like in KL, where the thought of leaving it and my bunch of friends teared me. It's not difficult to explain why I thought I wouldn't have social life if I stay back in Penang.

Maybe because I no longer have the luxury 2 months semester break to laze around at home, which makes me want to depart for KL to "do something". Maybe because of my aging parents who make me want to dine at home more.

Last night I was eating out with my parents at some hawker place beside the road. It's just a simple place with a stall and some tables with stools, but they're famous for their roast pork rice. Hence many customers were already waiting there for their take-aways. I noticed a guy around my age was there, in his formal attire, probably just after work. For some unknown reason, it popped in head (and maybe, heart) that even Penang guys could give me that homely feeling which guys I met in KL couldn't. And I didn't even know that guy in formal attire!

But, really. It's my 8th month staying in Subang and I still don't fancy that place. At times, I even hate it. Not only it's dangerous, thanks to snatch thieves, or lousy food, but also because it's hard to travel around. Public transport is not as efficient as it is in KL, and the taxis don't freaking use their meter. And if you do drive, there are loads of tolls and traffic jams, too.

The only thing that sustains my joy in that place is my work. By the sound of it, I'm pathetic. Don't tell me to be contented with what I have. I think the (rich) people in Subang should raise their standard instead. It's not just the food, mind you, though one of the reason I hate Subang is because of food. This time around, every time I have a meal in Penang, I can't help but ask myself: What was the shit I ate in Subang all this while? Note that I have never used the s word in my blog. Past and present blog. Never.

I guess now I am really getting the real punch of working in the city.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It only lasted for 10 seconds.

I admit that I was kinda late when I departed from my house this morning for my train back to Penang. But I really thought that I still could make it. To cut it short, I chose to wait for KTM train from Subang Jaya station to KL Sentral instead of just hire a cab there directly. It didn't take this long previously. But not this time. I was hoping my train would be delayed as usual.

So by the time I rushed to the platform, my train had departed 10 minutes ago. Upon receiving this bad news from the KTM staff, I yelled in my head "Oh no, oh no! What should I do what should I do now?!"

Immediately, I answered my own question with surprisingly calm (or rather, nonchalant) tone:

"Oh, ok, maybe some breakfast at McD first, then think about what to do next."

When I sat down at the McD outlet munching away my hashbrown, I found my instinctive response in this incident was quite amusing.

At the end, I went to the new (not so new for now) Puduraya bus station to buy bus ticket back home. And the rest of the journey was uneventful. I arrived slightly earlier than I would have if I took the train.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

It's because when Jupiter spins off from its orbit, I fell for you, uncontrollably. I can't get a grip of my life. A life that as if I am living it for someone else. To meet their expectations. But isn't this life I borrow it from someone else, too?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Random books by random authors

Of late, the books I bought for myself were really random. The one I am reading right now is from Kinokuniya, titled Grace by Linn Ullmann. I remember I started this randomness with Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger. That was at least a year ago. Either it shows how little I've read since the last one year or I've begun to love this randomness. Or, the randomness allowed in my life has been pathetically reduced to only decision on books.

Forget about the last sentence. Two weeks ago, I was at Kinokuniya again, after a long break from bookstores (or any shopping malls). I couldn't help but to pick up this book which was on 25% discount if I also bought another item in the same receipt. It was already cheaper than average books even before its discount! Well, apparently this book was made into film, too - Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, directed by David Fincher, starred Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter and Edward Norton.

I've had Fight Club neatly jacketed and taken a peek at the first chapter. I know I'd love that book :)

Then yesterday, I was at MPH in Mid Valley. I stumbled upon some books at sections from local authors, and picked up two on the way out: Seeds of Love by Azizi Hj. Abdullah and Malacca: A Romance by Kamsiah M Bostock. I haven't started reading them properly but there's something about the way of their writings that prompted me to give them a chance, something I think I might not regret doing.

For the record, I have never heard of any of the books mentioned above before I bought them. And all of them are quite thin - not more than 220 pages with their size at most half of A4 paper.

Szuchen was amused at the fact that I could randomly pick up a book by an author I've never heard of. I guess the reason I like to do this is because I like the refreshing feeling every time I read from a different author, especially those who are new to me. Roald Dahl was the one who inspired me to pay attention to an author's personality and character via his or her writings. Though the stories may have nothing to do with the author's real life, it's still a form of communication between the author and his readers. Words are indeed powerful when it comes to revealing "messages". Of course, I should not relate a person's writing to his true self in real life. Again, every author has his own writing style and it's just amazing how stories are told via sentences of different structures.

The point of me writing this post is: I'd like to kindly suggest friends who know I love books not to buy me books as gifts. Of course, it's still the thought that matters and if you found any book that you think I might like it, bring it on! If not, I'd prefer to buy my own books for now. Besides, if you know me really, REALLY well, you'd know that I have even more books which I haven't finished reading *guilt* So you're just being a good friend not to indulge me in this bad habit of not finishing books.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

(Iron) Bird Watching

There's an airport near the place I am staying right now. Hence, when I occasionally look up into the sky, I can see a plane is taking off, flying steeply gaining altitude.

As a sun-sneezer, normally I can't look at the plane in the sky long enough before I shut my eyes and sneeze. When I am interrupted by this, I will go back to what I am doing. The plane will then be taken off from my mind, too.

Today, I had the opportunity to stare at a plane in the sky for a longer period, because I was in my colleague's car, hence I didn't sneeze. I saw the iron bird flew steeply up, then changed direction, and slowly, it disappeared from my sight.

When I was small, I was always excited to spot a plane in the sky. It's even better if it's a helicopter! The reason is simple: The sky looks more interesting when a plane visits it. And even when I've grown up, sometimes I still get excited over the sight and point it out to my friends around me: Look! A plane!

A friend used to reply: So what? Haven't you seen a plane before?

It prompted me to think for a moment. What is it in this event that stirs me up? Now I know why I am always transfixed with the sight of plane up in the air.

I am amazed. When everything is being pulled down by gravity, it still can go up, higher and higher. Knowing that it is a giant metal container carrying its own huge engines and hundreds of passengers in it makes it even an even impressive sight. If I was the person who was being laughed at by suggesting man can fly too before a plane was invented, then came the time man witnessed this iron bird flew steadily in the sky, I would smile and ask: so who has the last laugh now?

I feel hopeful. I love it when I look up to the blue sky, I see patches of white fluffy clouds decorate the heaven. Because I know such beautiful sight has its Creator, the same Creator who creates me, too. It assures me that there is still hope out there, there is a bigger world out there to explore. Hence when I see a plane leaves the ground to venture into the sky out there, it reminds me that at that very moment, someone is heading to their own destination, somewhere else. It might be a new place for them. It might be their sweetest home they are returning to. It might just be a fun vacation trip for some. And I wonder if it's at some exotic island with beautiful beach and sand so fine that you'd love to walk barefoot on it. Hopefully one day, I might be going for one of such trips, too.

I feel sentimental. Someone I love might be on the plane, leaving. And a tiny part of my heart may leave with that person, too. I always wonder where its destination is. Would it be flying back to my hometown, too? Would anyone I know be thinking of me when they see this same flight later?

I hope I will never have the day to lose my excitement upon seeing an iron bird in the sky. What was once impossible has now become possible. Life is getting more and more exciting!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A moment of silence.

Being joyful over Osama's death would make me a monster. But the scariest thing would be me being indifferent upon hearing the news. Because that is just so not the Cher Linn I use to know. I don't want to let anything dilute my thirst for news outside my comfort zone, and the analysis that come after that.

Thank God, I still ask: what's next? (in a manner that I do look forward for good answers)

Come to think of it, what makes his death less significance is the ideology of radical Salafism Osama propagated via al-Qaeda. Because the ideology lives on even after the propagator dies.

Some people live to make a difference. They left their legacy, in a good way or bad way. We all have a choice about what kind of legacy we want to leave.

What are you doing with your choice?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Red bombs? Bring it on!

I just came back from a Malay wedding. I knew both bride and groom since we were studying degree together in UKM. Special thanks to Shahrul who was kind enough to give me a ride. A moment of advertisement: Yes, he is still single, you ladies out there better pay attention! :)

I don't know, I always attend friends' weddings with mixed feelings. It's either I know the bride or the groom. And if I know both of them, the feeling is different and stronger. Joy. Excitement. Merry. Appreciation for such lovely couple, knowing that they're getting more stable day by day. And the love that fills the air!

Having said  that, I realise that I'm slightly closer to my Malay coursemates than to my Chinese coursemates. I've attended at least 2 Malay coursemates' weddings after our graduation but I always miss the Chinese coursemates' gatherings. There was one some time during CNY, I missed it because I didn't have transport and it's kinda pricey - it was at Traders Hotel if not mistaken. And the second one is tomorrow afternoon in Fullhouse at Jalan Yap Kwan Seng. I am giving it a pass because it's Easter tomorrow and I will be spending my day in church. There's another event with the Chinese coursemates coming up. It's a trip to Batu Caves. I've never been there but again, I shall miss it because it clashes with my Genting trip with my debater friends. And I am especially excited about this trip because I am bringing Szuchen with me to join them! Szuchen is a very dear friend of mine. I'd like her to meet my other friends who mean a lot to me, too :)

Next weekend is Ilaina's wedding. If Shahrul is going and can give me a ride again, I'd really love to attend it, too. I guess it's also a way for us to meet up with some old friends. We had a great time catching up and exchange news. I was told that Abid has delivered her first baby boy on 6th April after an eventful delivery. Phew!

It's a wonderful weekend :)

Names that make you smile when saying it

A few months ago my friend and I were discussing names. It suddenly came to my mind that the name Twink was a name that made you smiled whenever you said it.

But there are also some other words that make you smile whenever you say them. Try these:

1. Wantan Mee
2. Great
3. Cheese
4. Win
5. Wee hours
6. Ai Huey
7. Coffee :D

And also, Jesus :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bliss on the couch

Hie Ching and I were watching some random movie on TV last night. We saw a beach wedding scene and I went:

"Oh.. beach, beach wedding! It's such a lovely beach wedding! I've always wanted a beach wedding!"

Hie Ching stared at me silently. A moment later I continued:

"But ok, maybe I need get a groom for that first."

And we both laughed hysterically. Amazing isn't it how friends get to read each others' mind?

There was another time, both of us and Lee Hwa were watching TV on a Saturday afternoon, with next door having their renovation. There came a part of the entertainment programme that was very funny, and the three of us burst out with roaring laughter. It was so loud that even the construction workers next door could hear us over their loud and disturbing knocking-down-wall noise. For a while in that afternoon, the construction noise from next door was put on hold and the air was filled with only laughter. I like Hie Ching's version the best: she was laughing madly and clapping hard on her own lap, too.

The little blessings we have in life :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Still there

These days work in lab have been so busy and draining that I can barely recognise myself after I come back from work and collapse on the bed. I've come to this new place for almost 6 months now and I can feel that I've changed a little by little gradually.

But today I'm glad to note that a tiny part of me is still preserved well. It's the excitement I still feel when buying gifts for friends. *big grin*

Somehow, it's reassuring to me to note that myself :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


It's a madness! =)

This is a brilliant invention! It's a bookshelf which comes with a reading lamp and bookmark.

This is probably the most suitable bookshelf for me - safe space, cut down time to walk to a chair after I've found the book I want to read, and the mobility is best for decidophobe who cannot decide where to read because I can push the chair-cum-bookshelf around.

This makes me jaw-dropped.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Yes, I've decided. If one day I manage to buy myself a house, be it a condo or landed house, not only it'll have a reading room, but also another room for kick-boxing. It may not have a boxing ring (Are you kidding? How am I going to fit a boxing ring into a room??) or floor mat. The most important item in it is the cotton punching bag hanging down from the ceiling. If I don't have enough rooms, I shall keep all my books in my bedroom right till next to my bed if that's what it takes, so that I can have that stress release work out room.

Yes, a punching bag. I need it more than I need a swimming pool *gasp* Pretty much now, too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Banning poco-poco dance

In the effort of protecting Muslims in Malaysia from any non-Islamic elements, other religions are not allowed to publicly share information or propagate teachings of their own faith to Muslims, such as passing around flyers to them, invite them to religious events, among others.

But like I say, I don't believe that this kind of protection from the government is a good thing. An individual may boldly say that he is absolutely not interested in any religious activities other than for his own faith, or even claim to be annoyed by such invitation no matter how well intended these invitations are. That should be the liberty at individual level. In this way, the government not only is allowing freedom of speech for those  mentioned above, it is also empowering the rights of others who would like to know more about other religion to feel free to attend events that increase one's understanding about other religions, even if conversion is not necessarily in the picture. The culture of never stop learning should also include religious matter. In fact, challenges from people of other faiths is the most effective way to encourage one to learn more about his own faith in order to defend it, if he wishes. In this way, he is growing stronger in his own faith and this is essentially the purpose of the protection at the first place.

Having said that, I'd like to clarify that of course I do come across some Muslims who are strong in their own faith even with the protection from the government in place. But many are not. The same goes to Christians as well. There were times I only want to be a Sunday Christian. I felt the comfort of being at church on Sundays, and the comfort of not being challenged about my faith on the rest of the week. Until one day some friends asked me about my faith or threw me statement such as "If you don't sin, Jesus died for nothing!", I began to realise religion is more that just being comfortable and showing up for Sunday services. I do thank God for the peaceful times. But I should also take the initiative to come back to God for answers when challenges arise, and not giving excuses for my own shaky faith in Him. And I am not the only Christians who is guilty of giving excuses at times, too. There are much to improve on as His followers, maybe we can start with facing  the challenges positively.

Even, people (or at least, the leaders) of 1Malaysia should be made compulsory to be educated of faiths widely professed by the majority in this country before they want to ban certain activities from their fellow countrymen due to the "foreign" elements in those activities. Even if one is not interested to ban any religious activity, these leaders should be the role model and take the initiative to understand his community whom he is representing. Because the higher you go as a leader, there are even more reasons for you to bow down and wash the feet for (serve), be humble and be respectful to the people you lead and have influence on.

What is the result of over-protection? Some of our leaders don't even know what is or isn't an element of a particular religion, and worse, don't even care to hide the fact that they don't know about it. Mistaken Santa Clause and poco-poco dance to be of Christianity only brings shame to leaders who made those statement. And who elected those leaders of our nations? We, the citizens, do. At the end, we bear the most shame for the laughable statement they made on media. And yes, I grew tired of the times these leaders simply ban something and say because they are linked to Christianity without proper research.

It is these politicians who are playing the racial/ religious cards. Our country is better off without them.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan

It's the first among five of our national Rukunegara. Teacher told me because it's the most important compass for a nation. I didn't understand why religion was important back then. Grades were, weren't they? Bad results meant more strokes on the butt.

Slowly I understand what faith and religion are, and acknowledge God as the mighty and all powerful Creator, and how all wisdom to life are from Him. That's when I see religion as the most important compass for a nation, for family, for an individual. Our direction in our daily life, the way we act or guidance for decision should depend heavily on our religion. Because religion is what show and guide us to the truth and the light.

I want to believe in what I claim to believe in: The five Rukungara, starting with Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan. I want to make religion the most important compass for my life.

But someone is trying to stop us from doing so. The way our Malay-speaking Christians are forbidden to read or even to own a copy of our Holy Scripture is in exact contradiction to encouraging one to make religion the compass of his life. Because in Malaysia, the BM Bible is claimed as a threat to national security. I do not agree with the way they label my Bible. But one has right to freedom of expression. Because what I don't like should not stop others from claiming their rights to do things which they are allowed to do.

Similarly, what they don't like about my religion should not stop my fellow brothers and sisters from practising their religion, i.e., meditating on His Words and pray to Him in the language of our choice. Freedom to religion is (stated in black and white in) the constitutional and fundamental human rights as enshrined in Article (11) of the Federal Constitutional and Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The whim of the majority does have the power to oppress the right of the minority. Except that in this case, they're going against the God all mighty, not just His followers. Haven't they started to wonder why they never actually win this war?

Let's stand up against injustice. It's not just for yourselves, it's for your future generation as well. If you do nothing now, the future generation is very likely to follow suit, to give in to more injustice. What you do or don't do today will impact the future.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

girlfriends rock

After work today, Szuchen and I went for a programme for back care organised by the physiotherapy team in our hospital. Then we went for a dinner (pan mee at Face To Face) and dessert (Tutti Frutti!) in SS15. Before she sent me back home, we checked out the 100yen shop nearby. We had a really good time with each other's company. Of all the time I wish I have a significant other, I am grateful that Szuchen is a girl and we are growing closer with each other day by day. She is a great blessing to me, especially in my new work place. She is like a reminder to me that God has not forgotten about me, but has sent me an angel to watch over me.

Despite what I've gone through in my new place, I never come close to quitting. At least not right now. I don't know how else to explain except telling the truth that I know God wants me to stay. Many time I spent guessing what was God's plan for me, asking fervently for Him to reveal His great purpose in me. Many times I can't hear Him over my roaring heart. Sometimes God doesn't answer immediately. But as I learn to have more faith in Him, I learn to be patient as well. This time, I hear it clearly what His command is. By all means, I'm gonna follow it. Because the days lived without direction left me in desperation and that was quite unbearable.

And for every moment, I am grateful to have Szuchen around and get to know her better. I thank God for giving me someone whom I can clique well and feel very comfortable to be around with. I can't tell how I am filled with joy with her sitting across the table when we are having lunch peacefully almost every lunch break.

* humming silently in my head again :) *

Fruitless Effort

Why only Bible has to be stamped "For Christian Only" but not scriptures of other religions as well?

I am truly astounded by how even the non-Christians recognise the transforming power of His holy Word to the extend that a nation has to make a law to protect the majority of her citizen from it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shotgun! [edited]

Sometimes when I'm not sure about a word, I'll have a quick check in Google for their definition and usage. As I was writing the previous post, I googled up the word "shotgun" to confirm that it means the passenger seat next to driver's in a moving automobile.

Before I go into the main point, here is a brief historical background of riding shotgun [Wikipedia]: The expression was applied originally to the movie depiction of stagecoaches and  wagons in the Wild West, in danger of being robbed or attacked. An employee or passenger would sit beside the driver, carrying a shotgun r rifle, to provide an armed response in case of threat to the cargo or passengers.

Then I stumbled upon this site about Shotgun Rules. I was flabbergasted at how people would actually race each other for front passenger seat (and even their preferred passengers seats at the back, too)! All this while I thought I'm the only odd one out who loves shotgun seat very much. Of course, that position brings one certain privileges and duties as well, which he or she must fulfill to avoid being robbed off the fengshui seat. An interesting note, the trunk is also called "ex-wife" in some region in America. Haha ;-)

It's quite a long list of rules but I picked a few which I find interesting or amusing.

Section I - General Rules
1) The first person to yell "SHOTGUN" gets to ride in the front seat.
2) The remaining back seats may be divvied up in the same manner by being the first to call "back right seat", etc..
3) The word "shotgun" must be loud enough to be heard by at least one witness. If no witness is to be found, or in case of a tie, the driver has the final word. After all, it is most likely his car. (note: if it isn't his car, and the owner is present, the owner's decision is final. Owner must be sober, however, or he will defer his judgment to the driver.)
4) Early calls are strictly prohibited. All occupants of the vehicle (including the driver) must be outside of the building and directly on the way to the vehicle before shotgun may be called. Under no circumstances may a person call shotgun inside a building. For sake of simplicity, a garage is considered to be outside. Parking structures and detached garages are always considered as being outdoors, even if they are underground.
5) A person may only call shotgun for one way of a trip. Shotgun can never be called while inside a vehicle or still technically on the way to the first location. For example, one can not get out of a vehicle and call Shotgun for the return journey.
6) Being as how everyone is created equal, men have the same right as women to the front seat of the car. i.e. women don't own the front seat.
7) One is allowed to ride shotgun as many times as he can call it, but for himself only. No one can call shotgun for their slower friend, unless the friend has a speech or mental handicap that prevents them from calling it for themselves.
8) The driver has final say in all ties and disputes. The driver has the right to suspend or remove all shotgun privileges from one or more persons.

Section II - Special Cases
These special exceptions to the rules above should be considered in the order presented; the case listed first will take precedence over any of the cases beneath it, when applicable.
1) In the instance that the normal driver of a vehicle is drunk or otherwise unable to perform their duties as driver, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun.
2) If the instance that the person who actually owns the vehicle is not driving, then he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
3) In the instance the driver's spouse, lover, partner, or hired prostitute for the evening is going to accompany the group, he/she is automatically given Shotgun, unless they decline.
4) In the instance that one of the passengers may become so ill during the course of the journey that the other occupants feel he/she will toss their cookies, then the ill person should be given Shotgun to make appropriate use of the window.
5) In the instance that only one person knows how to get to a given location and this person is not the driver, then as the designated navigator for the group they automatically get Shotgun, unless they decline.
6) In the instance that one of the occupants is too wide or tall to fit comfortably in the back seat, then the driver may show mercy and award Shotgun to the genetic misfit. Alternatively, the driver and other passengers may continually taunt the poor fellow as they make a three hour trip with him crammed in the back.

Section III - The Survival Of The Fittest Rules (a.k.a The Bastard Rules)
1) If the driver so wishes, he/she may institute the Survival Of The Fittest Rules on the process of calling Shotgun. In this case all rules, excepting 1.8, are suspended and the passenger seat is occupied by whoever can take it by force.
2) The driver must announce the institution of the Survival Of The Fittest Rules with reasonable warning to all passengers. This clause reduces the amount of blood lost by passengers and the damage done to the vehicle.
3) Please follow the above rules to the best of your ability. If there are any arguments or exceptions not covered in these rules, please refer to rule 1.8.

Section IV - Revisions
1) These rules shall be subject to either revision or amendment at any time. But, changes and new rules you create during a car ride do not take effect until the next car ride.
2) Since there is an established body currently in place to distribute world-wide information, it is proposed that the United Nations (lol) oversee the adoption, updates (as required) and enforcement of these rules once adopted by at least two-thirds of the current membership of the UN. 
3) It shall be the responsibility of all drivers to have a current copy of these rules in the vehicle's glove compartment, so that disputes may be resolved.

And I actually laughed out loud reading the following:

Amendment IV: Eviction
If the vehicle is forced to stop for a serious infraction of the Shotgunner, the Shotgunner must relinquish his/her seat, if the driver so wishes.
Serious infractions have been known to include spilling alcoholic beverages, spilling any beverage, being annoying, breaking parts of the car, and in extreme cases, just being ugly.

Amendment VII: Navigator
The passenger who has shotgun MUST serve as Navigator. By this, he must watch out for signs and intersections that the driver may miss during the course of a road trip. The Navigator must also ask for directions out the window.
It is also the responsibility of the passenger who has shotgun to take control of the radio and air conditioning, however the driver has final say over the settings. The other occupants of the car can also have an opinion. If the passenger with shotgun is caught forgetting their duties and makes the car listen to commercials and/or bad music, then his privilege can be lost. Of course, this is all in good judgement of the driver. As Navigator, the driver may also ask him to operate other devices such as the windshield wipers, and rear window defroster.
It is also the job of the Navigator throw all trash and empty beer bottles out of the window. The beer bottles must be crushed under the tires to destroy all evidence, in case of an emergency situation.
In addition, the Navigator must possess the ability and the will to insult other drivers and be heard, only if they deserve it (ie: being cut off). This is to allow the driver to continue to operate the vehicle properly.
The Navigator must possess the ability (and the will) to roll down their window and invite any chicks in adjacent cars to the driver's destination.