Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jalan - Jalan Cari Makan: Melaka,19th May 2007

Sharita's been in DDBI ( an exchange programme for 3 months from DDB Brainstorm,Jakarta ) for the last 2 months, and the furthest she's been anywhere is KL. All work and no play makes mummy Sharita a dull girl.

Saw Gin had a brilliant idea to bring us all down to Melaka to jalan-jalan cari makan. So off we went in Rocky ( Gin's suave Suzuki Swift ) and headed down south. 4 girls, with absolutely no clue how to get around Melaka town.

Starting the trip with Breakfast. It was meant to be a toilet stop, but we couldn't resist the hot steaming nasi lemak at the Nilai rest area. They were calling out to us!

I've always knew Melaka as a quaint historical town, but have never realised that she is so rich in culture, heritage and arty farty places, people & interesting cosy cafes. And, I've discovered that these places are opened by ex-advertising people!

Our first stop in Melaka, the orang utan man's shop_Charles cham. Sharita got her "i love chicken rice t-shirt" from this place. Then to Gee's clogs. Very nice handmade-handpainted clogs here. For some reason, Melakans love Bruce Lee. Mr Bruce's picture is everywhere.The paper cutting shop is just opposite Gees (looks like a scene from a beijing hutong eh?)

A tour around the Baba & Nyonya house, i learnt that the early settlers are really smart. They have security features and peep holes that even the alarm system at home now pales in comparison. They even have an icecream machine that looks like the ice kacang hand grinder. How cool is that! And, i just discovered that they use their fingers to eat ( okay i admit i suaku ).

The front of the Baba & Nyonya house. We're not allowed to take pictures inside. Sharita thought she felt a dark feeling inside one of the room. While she was sharing the story, I felt a little tug on my pants while we were chilling out at the cafe ( goose bumps?).

Fooling around at the cafe next door whilst waiting for the tour to start. Like my "tai -tai" pose??


Melaka must have no 1 : Chicken rice balls, nice lotus peanut soup and assam fish.. yummy!Drown it with cool leong char.. burp! Anyone knows why it's in BALLS? Sharita's favourite Malaysian food is Chicken rice!

Melaka must have no 2 : Durian Cendol at Bibik House. You can get nice pineapple tarts here, freshly baked.

A full tummy, and aching legs, the ultimate pampering would be... a foot reflexology. And it's just across the street. I can't remember the name, but it has a Giant Foot as a sign board opposite Bibik House. The reflexologist were a bunch of ladies from China.

The reflexology session was really good. The moment the lady held my feet i was already in dream land. This pair of feet belongs to Wan Hoon.. all ready to be pampered.

Limau - Limau cafe was our next stop. Julie and Jo were raving about it when they came to Melaka last year.We decided to pop in. Very very pretty place. Beautiful art pieces and nice huge chandeliers. And fresh fruit juices of all sorts - cool & refreshing on a hot afternoon.

My Grape juice, Saw Gin's Nangka juice, Wan Hoon's Kiwi juice and Sharita's Lychee juice.

Wan Hoon and me High on juice!

At 6pm, we realised that we've brought Sharita all the way to Melaka but she's not seen the landmarks of Melaka and briefed on the history al tour! All we did was shop and eat. So under the light drizzle we hurried ourselves to the Dutch Square and the Fort. I'm still a little unclear about the history.

I was too busy looking at 2 kwai lou leng jai backpackers i stepped on my own slipper and it gave up on me.Boo hoo! Luckily we were already walking back to the car to head towards satay celup. I learnt that "lucu" is a slang for cute in Bahasa Indonesia.

Wan Hoon's ingenious idea of tying my slipper with her rubber band. The funky design is by mummy Sharita's skillful hands. With this new funky designer slipper, i was able to walk around with my rubber-band - funky slipper until i reached KL.

Last stop.. The trip won't be complete without going for the famous Satay Celup! About 70 sticks in total. It was See Hup Galore...

Melaka must have no 3 : Satay Celup. We went to the one behind HSBC bank. 3 rounds of getting lost and going in circles, if you plan to get there take the immediate turn after the Shell station, before HSBC.

Luckily i was dressed in my flowy shirt. At the end of the night, i felt 3 months preggars. My tummy was round and nice!

Places we missed, but will return for :
1. The Geographer, i would like to just sit down, people watch and indulge in afternoon beers. Hic!
2. Seafood at the Portuguese settlement. Someone needs to take me there, because I don't know the directions to that place.
3. There's a funky budget hotel, i think it's call hotel 21 on Jonker Street.

Next stop, we're planning to do Batu Caves and then Kuala Selangor Seafood! I've not been there, so it's going to be pretty exciting ( except for the long climbs... :P)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Picking a life partner

Last Saturday, my cousin Su Lee got married. Whilst day dreaming during service ( hey, it was in mandarin - it takes quite a lot of hard work to pay attention to the pastor ), I'm reminded of this e-mail which Leanne sent. I've decided to revisit it today and share it.

With the divorce rate over 50 percent, too many are apparently making a serious mistake in deciding with whom to spend the rest of their life. To avoid becoming a "statistic," try to internalize these 10 insights.

1. You pick the wrong person because you expect him/her to change after you're married. The classic mistake. Never marry potential. The golden rule is, if you can't be happy with the person the way he or she is now, don't get married. As a colleague of mine so wisely put it, "You actually can expect people to change after they're married... for the worst!" So when it comes to the other person's spirituality, character, personal hygiene, communication skills, and personal habits, make sure you can live with these as they are now.

2. You pick the wrong person because you focus more on chemistry than on character. Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keeps it burning. Beware of the "I'm in love" syndrome. "I'm in love" often means, "I'm in lust." Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked out this person's character? Here are four character traits to definitely check for:

* Humility: Does this person believe that "doing the right thing" is more important than personal comfort?
* Kindness: Does this person enjoy giving pleasure to other people? How does s/he treat people s/he doesn't have to be nice to? Does s/he do volunteer work? Give to charity?

* Responsibility: Can I depend on this person to do what s/he says s/he's going to do?
* Happiness: Does this person like himself? Does s/he enjoy life? Is s/he emotionally stable? Ask yourself: Do I want to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?

3. You pick the wrong person because the man doesn't understand what a woman needs most. Men and women have unique emotional needs, and more often than not, it is the man who just doesn't "get it." Jewish tradition places the onus on the man to understand the emotional needs of a woman and to satisfy them. The unique need of a woman is to be loved -- to feel that she is the most important person in her husband's life. The husband needs to give her consistent, quality attention. This is most apparent in Judaism's approach to sexual intimacy. The Torah obligates the husband to meet the sexual needs of his wife. Sexual intimacy is always on the woman's terms. Men are goal-oriented, especially when it comes to this area. As a wise woman once pointed out, "Men have two speeds: on and off." Women are experience-oriented. When a man is able to switch gears and become more experience-oriented, he will discover what makes his wife very happy. When the man forgets about his own needs and focuses on giving his wife pleasure, amazing things happen.

4. You choose the wrong person because you do not share a common life goal and priorities. There are three basic ways we connect with another person:

* Chemistry and compatibility.
* Share common interests.
* Share common life goal. Make sure you share the deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide. After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart. To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you're "living for," while you're single -- and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion as you. This is the true definition of a "soul mate." A soul mate is a goal mate -- two people who ultimately share the priorities, values and goals.

5. You choose the wrong person because you get involved sexually too quickly. Sexual involvement before the commitment of marriage can be a big problem because it often precludes a fully honest exploration of important issues. Sexual involvement tends to cloud one's mind. And a clouded mind is not inclined to make good decisions. It is not necessary to take a "test drive" in order to find out if a couple is sexually compatible. If you do your homework and make sure you are intellectually and emotionally compatible, you don't have to worry about sexual compatibility. Of all the studies done on divorce, sexual incompatibility is never cited as a main reason why people divorce.

6. You pick the wrong person because you do not have a deeper emotional connection with this person. To evaluate whether you have a deeper emotional connection or not, ask: "Do I respect and admire this person?" This does not mean, "Am I impressed by this person?" We are impressed by a Mercedes. We do not respect someone because they own a Mercedes. You should be impressed by qualities of creativity, loyalty, determination, etc. Also ask, "Do I trust this person?" This also means, "Is he/she emotionally stable? Do I feel I can rely on him/her?

7. You pick the wrong person because you choose someone with whom you don't feel emotionally safe. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I feel calm, peaceful and relaxed with this person? Can I fully be myself and express myself with this person? Does this person make me feel good about myself? Do you have a really close friend who does make you feel this way? Make sure the person you marry makes you feel the same way! "...Do I want to be more like this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her? ..." Are you afraid of this person in any way? You should not feel you need to monitor what you say because you are afraid of how the other person will view it. If you're afraid to express your feelings and opinions openly, there's a problem with the relationship. Another aspect of feeling safe is that you don't feel the other person is trying to control you. Controlling behaviors are a sign of an abusive person. Be on the look out for someone who is always trying to change you. There's a big difference between "controlling" and "making suggestions." A suggestion is made for your benefit; a control statement is made for their benefit.

8. You pick the wrong person because you don't put everything on the table. Anything that bothers you about the relationship must be brought up for discussion. Bringing up the uncomfortable stuff is the only way to evaluate how well the two of you communicate, negotiate, and work together. Over the course of a lifetime, difficulties will inevitably arise. You need to know now, before making a commitment: Can you resolve your differences and find compromises that work for both of you? Never be afraid to let the person know what bothers you. This is also a way for you to test how vulnerable you can be with this person. If you can't be vulnerable, then you can't be intimate. The two go hand in hand.

9. You pick the wrong person because you use the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness. If you are unhappy and single, you'll probably be unhappy and married, too. Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them. If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You'll feel better, and your future spouse will thank you.

10. You pick the wrong person because he/she is involved in a triangle. To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop another relationship. A person who hasn't separated from his or her parents is the classic example of triangulation. People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money. Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in the triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You will not be their number one priority. And that's no basis for a marriage.

This past year has been a long soul searching for me ( Turning 28 is not easy! ).Here, i try to crystalise my thoughts and remind myself that :

1. We have to fully understand ourselves first. Who we are? What do we want in life? Why do i want a relationship? What i my values & principles? What can I tolerate and can't? etc. ( Which was illustrated in points #4, 6, 7)

2. We are individuals. Hence we are accountable for our own lives. I like what Nige said : "I came into this world alone, i'll leave this world alone". Therefore, we shouldn't go into relationships thinking that the other person is accountable for us. We have to be a glass full. We can't expect our partners to complete us. Because, the only person to complete ourselves would be "I". Can you imagine your man telling you : "You have to complete me". Or we assume so. So we cook and clean, pay for him, mother him smother him, takes his tantrums, help him kick an addiction etc etc... ( Illustrated points #9). In the end, we become slaves to the emotional abuse and instead of a relationship which builds you, tears & demolishes you.

3. TRIANGLE. I think we are all hook to this. Especially since women are likely to HURT longer. So, why not let go of TRIANGLES so that we can start anew and afresh. So that we come FULL & COMPLETE, FAIR and full of LOVE in the our new relationships.

Which is probably God's reminder to me : "Jess.. I've always been there, but you chose to see other means."

So, why not try GOD?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Mayday Play by Winston

My owners think that i'm really stuck-up, because I don't like being around other doggy friends.

But, really, i'm shy.

I've been brought up all alone when i was with Uncle Paul. The only time i've seen other doggies is when i stayed at the dog hotel or at the vet. You can't do much being stuck in a cage or having a thermometer stuck up your ass.

I feel more comfortable with human friends. See, they seem to know me well too.
Like when I'm hungry. When I'm excited and want to play. When I want a belly rub and tickle. When i need to pee pee and poo poo. When I want to go walky walky. But with other dogs, they baffle me. Especially bitches! I wurve them, but gee, they baffle me!

Sunshine & Bessy came to play on Tuesday. It was the Wesak day holiday, so Yue li and Wei Na brought them over.

I'm trying to get re-acquainted with Bessy. She comes, she goes, she comes, she goes.The last time she stayed for a week. I wonder when she'll be back? I'm also trying to get use to her hyperness. I can't see properly when she paws my face. I want to look at the leng luis Yue Li & Wei Na. She stifles my style.

I try my best to stand still and upright to impress the leng luis, but Bessy keeps coming for me.. sigh!

I must say, Bessy is very adorable...when she's not pawing my face or my water bowl (don't tell her that okay.. cos I'm too macho to say it!)

And this is the 3 of us playing - me, sunshine & bessy. Well, i was playing for a while, then i got too tired from the 2 ladies' prancing around.

My "girlfriend" potential wifey Sunshine. You would have probably seen our first date blog. Being the male i am, i really don't know how to approach Sunshine. She's very fierce ( i like!).

She likes to bark at me and try to snap at my face all the time. I think i'm not dark and handsome like Midnight, that's why. I was so rejected and heartbroken by her barking, i had to run and hide in my corner to recover...sniff.

I'll try to do better and be more charming next time when the laydees are around. My owners are telling me to "BE BRAVE". Woof!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

April Sunday Outing

I refuse to admit that we are Old, though i've been feeling it.
Also, it's not that we don't have the stamina to or party the way we used to (yea..right!). Rather I'd like to think that we should be Wiser to know that we shouldn't put our body through physical torture for the sake of Fun. Yet, we repeatedly do so. Why?

Older but not wiser.

The physical "torture - fun" that we through last weekend:

The Malay Mail Fun Walk

Dragged out of bed at 5am so that we can make it to Dataran Merdeka for the Malay Mail Fun Walk. It wouldn't be so bad, if we didn't stay at Lawrence's place feasting on yummy steamboat and drinking till 1.30am. Crawling into bed at 2.30am and dreading the thought of having to wake up in 3 hours,trust me, i debated with myself over and over again whether to FFK or not. It started raining heavily, so I thought maybe, I could do the cowardly text messaging to say, "guys it's raining, guess i won't be going!".

Well, at least i had people who "suffered" with me!

7.30am : At the starting line. I've not stood so close to the Sultan Ahmad Shah building before. It is actually quite pretty.

There goes uncle Lawrence at the starting line! And me at the end of the walk. The padang which we had to finish is one big MUD POOL! My feet had a mud bath which unfortunately felt more like a growing ground for fungus and not a foot spa.

Hulu Langat, Sg. Gabai Waterfalls

12.45pm : Walking towards the waterfall, with our snackies & freebies from the Big Walk Goodie Bag.
Best goodie was the 250ml bottle of Johnny Walker, hidden in Lawrence's bag.

The start of the waterfall....

Why does chasing waterfalls have to be such a long climb upwards? Huff huff puff puff...
Well at least this waterfall is bigger and an easier and shorter climb vis a vis NUANG!!
( pictures were taken from my Sony Ericsson phone.. There's no zoom feature, and i was afraid i'll fall into the waterfall with my phone, so i took this from a distance...that's why the ant-like people. But, I must say, SE phones rocks, it's easy to use and i can easily capture pictures everywhere i go! except for the non-zoom features)

Another icky thing about chasing waterfalls is, there's no place to clean up.. so it's just change as fast as you can and head off! or just change behind your car doors.. muahahahaha

Kajang Satay Feast : KB's Birthday makan

The Birthday boy is the champion - 33 sticks

Willy boy lost out - only at 30 sticks

Aivan... I won't reveal how many sticks you had, in case Lily reads this blog, and sees you trying to hide the sticks.. oops!

I managed 10! Shane at 27, and Terny ...what a lovely picture.

240 sticks in total - ada ayam, kambing, lembu dan itik

BURP! smell my onions! such a great Sunday!

For more Pictures..