Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It feels so cold

It's funny how when you've resigned and you've come to the tail end of your notice, people ( bosses & collegues ) somehow think that you're invisible and yet you'll still have to do the work?

I wonder if this is a normal ? This is my first job, so I really don't know.

I wonder if it's me, or people just don't know how to deal with someone who will be leaving the job ?
It's quite sad to say this but it is leaving a bitter taste in mouth the way things are being handled over here. Deadlines are still flying around, I'm expected to do the work yet there's no form of proper form of delegation of what do i do with it after. The feeling is , just do the work , don't ask. If we feel like it, we'll include you in, if not why don't you just blend into the wall or the carpet.

Now i know why some people leave this place feeling cold.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Domesticating the fruit

I’m very careful that for my knife holding lesson today, I do not stab myself or lose my pinky altogether ( after the cut i was awarded for slaying the golden tortoise ). I learnt how to cut a pineapple today. I learnt it under the watchful eye of my dad, who is a pro with the knife. I learnt all my garlic and onion chopping skills from him. He is also extremely good with cutting fruits.

Doing documents, playing the piano, public speaking, organising things and implementing them, negotiating, using the computer – no problem. It’s really easy peasy. But doing housework, I guess I have a lot of head knowledge but not enough practical knowledge. Even downright to holding a knife properly , is at the moment a big challenge for me. The pineapple as you can guess is in the oddest mushiest shape possible. I think I should invest some money to get a few fruits and start mutilating them on my own as practice. Especially weird looking fruits with torns, skin & super ripe ones where it’ll turn to mush in my hands.

The knife holding lessons came about as I realised that before I even try to attempt to kill people with my cooking, I should learn the basics of :

  • Choosing fresh groceries – veg, chicken, meat, fruits ( my daddy is excellent in this. He does the grocery shopping).
  • Cleaning the food thoroughly after it is bought from the supermarket
  • Cutting them into the shapes... it is supposed to look like
  • Storing them to ensure freshness ( wah i sound so si lai – i think if i did an ad for fridges i’ll have good insights!)

So, I’ve embarked myself on a series of “watch” and try lessons from my mom. Saturday mornings at home is marketing day. So daddy will grocery shop while mom unpacks the veg, fruits, poultry, fishes, meat etc, clean them ( and i mean thoroughly clean them – scrubbed down, deboned & sanitised - to boiling them and removing the fats and dirty blood).

Those of you who’ve stepped into my house would know that there isn’t a hint of dust anyway, the walls are white and scrubbed clean, the kitchen always looks like it’s never been used ( though my mom had just cooked up a storm ), the porch is always clean etc. My mom is a clean freak, sanitation freak etc. Funnily, I’ve gotten none of her housekeeping excellence except to be “fussy” with my surroundings and not do the work myself , hah! So the thought of clumsy me trying a hand in her kitchen is quite a nightmare for her.

So far, i’ve gone through the lessons at a glance and a “try one fish, one fruit, one chicken at a time” before my parents takes whatever good looking produce there is and shoo me away for mutilating all their groceries.

I am one person that learns through experience and motions of doing it through practice. I guess i would need to find other avenues and opportunities to do this. So, anyone of you want to invite me over to your house to mutilate, i mean chop, cut, clean your groceries, call me!

Next on my list for learning, is how to handle a sewing machine and sewing. Good grief.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Fruit slays the tortoise

For those who've heard about the rumblings about the feng-sui elements that I was made to put in my room in the office... I found the3-tier Golden Tortoise and have moved my table back to a normal position ( instead of the tilted 45 degrees angle which i've been sitting in ). Is this rebellion now that I'm about to leave my job? No.

I feel it's freeing myself from a spiritual oppression that there is something above my head and weighing me down.Plus the weird tilted angle which i've been sitting in is making my life tilted too!

I climbed on a chair to reach the styrofoam like ceiling and lifted the panels. It took me a while to search for it. As i poke and sweep my hands around. When i finally found it, it came tumbling down, crashing together with the potted orchids and butterflies that was on my top cupboard ( luckily my wine glasses didn't break ).

As i picked up this tortoise and prayed over it, i saw that there was a brown stain on my jeans. First thought that came to my mind was - is there ink markings on this? I checked the tortoise thoroughly and found none. Then as i arranged the orchids and the butterflies back in place, I thought - silly me, when did i spill chilli sauce on myself?
As i sat down on my desk and lifted the tortoise to have a closer look, i noticed that there were red spots on my white tank top. Again, I thought "oh no, which red marker pen did i stain myself with... or is this from the orchids? but the orchids are purple " ( so yeah Nut, this is what i got myself into ).

As i was turning the tortoise around examining it, i saw red spots on my fingers, and blood oozing out non stop from the cuts on 2 fingers. Ew, that's where the stains came from. And it's really painful too. I must have cut myself whilst hanging on to the steel rods on the ceiling.

Oh well, I'll take it as battle scars against the tortoise!

I've removed the tortoise from my room. I didn't know what to do with it, so I've left it at the binding machine area for all to appreciate it's beauty.

In which Zahir did..

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Pineapple & Banana Fun in the Sun

Ao Nang : love story unfolding

I finally had the time to sit down to share some bits about my Krabi trip and recover from my post holiday blues. From the day I returned from Krabi, the blues stayed with me, as i go through days of crankiness from Wed till today. Don't ask me why. I don't know. I'm a woman.

But as i write and post the pictures one by one, my thoughts are turned back to the expectancies I had for the holiday. I had hope that God would somehow make His vision clearer in my life ( the horizons are still fuzzy ), and that I would continue to walk closer with Him and learn to rest in Him. Were my expectancies met?


I was rested. Very well rested - which is why i think i have problems bringing my physical & mental being back to KL.
After days of belly bloating ( from too much singha beer & spicy tom yum ) and recovering from bits of sun burn ( it's not too bad, i'm just allergic to the tanning oil and too much sun ), i'm missing my tom yum, pad thai, too much beer and lazing in the beach doing nothing.

I learnt that through the scariest moments in my life, and the times when i feel I am most alone & the odds were against me, I am able to call out to Him and be rescued.

He is a creative God. Who on earth could thi
nk of all the "macam-macam" islands except Him?

The highlights of the holiday were...
Total indulgence : food, drinks, daily massages by the beach...

The food in Ao Nang isn't cheap. We paid an average of RM25 - 30 on food every meal. That's for 4 dishes and beer. So expect to fork out your bits if Thai food is a priority. The restaurants that we went to had good Thai food (except for lunch on day 1), so parting with the money wasn't that painful. Beer is about RM3 a can of Singha and about RM12 (L) a bottle in the restaurants. And Lays potato chips yummily cheap!

Walk down to the end of Ao Nang beach and you'll discover rows of massage huts. You'll get really good body massage & free flow of pineapples & bananas. This lady Jin ( hut no.12 ) offered us services for RM15 - 1hour10minutes massage. Other places would offer about RM20 for 1 hour.

Free room upgrade
The place we stayed at Phra Nang Inn, was a little cosy inn - no frills. The best bits was the standard room in which we booked for, had utilities that started failing. The tap on the shower couldn't be turned off and then the toilet started flooding.

So at 11.30pm we had to drag our luggages to a deluxe room. Praise God for giving us a wonderful comfy room for the holiday!

New faces
I got to meet new people.Torge ( german ), Cindy, Joyce, Jean-nin & Desiree ( Singaporeans ) and for the first time in my life, people from Kazakhstan ( camelia and i forgot the other lady's name).

God answers, even when I did silly things
I met Torge & the Singaporean girls when i took a little adventure out to Krabi town on my own.
From the day that i arrived in Ao Nang, I've always wanted to jump onto the bus, just to experience riding in it. So one evening, I decided to hop onto a bus on my own at 5.30pm because JC & Al wanted to bask in the sun and do their own stuff. I got tired of walking around Ao Nang beach ( there's only so much shops that i could see and so much money that i can spend ).

The ride from Ao Nang to Krabi Town took about 30 minutes. The bus zipped through trunk roads ( like going through the little towns from Tapah to Ipoh ). I had the company of Torge who's studying Geology in Bristol telling me about his adventures around Thailand and the effects of the Tsunami area on the beaches. Also, luckily for him I got directions around Krabi town and a free guided tour through the streets and night market.

I had hop on the bus, not having a clue on where i was headed to and without a map ( i mean how teruk can Krabi town be? ).

It was only 7pm, but it was pretty dark ( Malaysia is 1 hour ahead ). So i said my good bye to Torge, and decided to hop onto the bus to head back to Ao Nang. I dreaded the long ride back through the trunk roads ( as we were passing by plantations & ulu kampungs ) and the thought of sitting on the bus alone doesn't seem so fun now.

I waited in the bus for 10 minutes and wondered why isn't it moving. I checked with the bus driver and he said: As long as there weren't any body, we won't be going anywhere. Unless, I could pay him RM30 to take the bus back to Ao Nang. He told me to wait for another 40 minutes, perhaps someone will come along. If not, the bus ride would be at 10pm.

I've never felt so helpless in a long time. I got out of the bus, pretty cheesed off. I had already texted JC & Al that i'll be heading to Ao Nang and they would be waiting for me for dinner. If i were to tell them now that " i 'm stuck in town alone by myself", this i dread their reaction! This isn't an option.

So I stood in the midst of thai speaking bus drivers talking to me in Thai, and i had a headful of horrid thoughts. ( I think Malaysia's crime rates have really instilled a lot of silly thoughts in me ). I decided, maybe i should walk around for another 40 minutes. It'll be alright. I headed down the road and realised that everything was closing and the streets started to look like a quiet Kota Raya area at midnight. I had offers to ride back to Ao Nang on motorcycle for 150Baht ( no way!) That's when i decided to turn around back to the bus station and prayed REALLY REALLY REALLY LONG & HARD.

I can't pen the feelings down. A little of me berating myself for taking the silly ride, a little of me saying - God will keep me safe, a little of me angry at broken promises ( how can the bus drivers not take me back to Ao Nang when it says ride - every 10 minutes) etc.

My saving grace. 1 hour later, God sent a gentle thai man ( reminded me of sean chen ) on board the bus. He became my translator amidst the thai drivers. I'm thinking - i don't think he'll harm me. Then, as if to assure me that I will be really safe, He sent 4 Singaporean girls who got onto the bus to ride back with me. And those girls, i had managed to catch a glimpse of their faces when we were paying for our massage the day before.

They said that they had intended to ride back earlier, but got delayed. That's why they are riding back with me now. Wow, such a wonderful God.

Some bits that i missed but wouldn't mind doing :
1. Mel the kayak man
We found him in the restaurant on our last night out. By day he's Mel the Kayak man who'll bring you around to his village Bhor Thor. A kayak trip through a village on stills in the mangroves and through the lime stone caves. I thought if i had another day to spare, i would definitely do the trip.

2. Rock climbing classes

Head down to Railley island. That's where the nice beach is and the rock climbing classes are. The beach in Ao Nang isn't good. It is during the island hopping that you get to get on the nice beaches.

Some bits that i thought was pretty interesting :
1. There's a Tesco in little Krabi!

2. Krabi is about 50% muslim population. And from the landscapes ( plantation of rubber, palm oil & the limestone mountains ) you would think that you are in Malaysia ( or in Ipoh). Some parts looked like Malaysia.
3. The monthly food allowance for Jin ( the massage lady's family ) is RM30. They buy their groceries from the market. The family eats out only about 3 times a year - for birthdays or new year.
4. Well the statistic of Mel the Kayak man & a police man cum taxi driver, can't qualify as all.. but i would say , most hold 2 jobs. We discovered that our cab driver to the airport was also a police. He drives the cab in the morning till afternoon and then does his patroling in the afternoon. He hangs his uniform and his gun at the front of the cab.
5. Penis gods. Not for Mojo orTongkat Ali effects but for prosperity in business and power. If you peer into the alters at the shops, you will see a wooden penis on the offering plate.

The legend of Princess Cave in Railley Island. Told by Ah Tu ( our island hopping guide ).
Where a fisherman and his wife pleaded for a baby with the Dragon God. Their wish will be granted with the condition - if the child is a baby girl, they would have to sacrifice her to the Dragon God's son as a wife. No prizes for guessing that the baby was a girl and she grew up falling in love with another fisherman.
The Dragon God was angry and started a war with the fishermen. The war had many casualties, and so a Hermit Monk interferred and turned warring tribes into islands ( including chicken island ).

This is the princess caves. Before the fishermen go to sea, they'll come to this cave to pray for a good catch and safety. And if you have been childless, couples praying to the Princess, you will be granted a child. For every child granted, the parents will return to the cave with a penis as offerings.

I'm getting lazy posting pictures and writing.. for more pictures, head over to my facebook.

Barbaric Dog Hunting Competition by the Selayang Municipal Council

Hey ya top dog catchers.
The Selayang Municipal Council Dog Hunt is on!

For quick money, just catch as many dogs - alive, and Win RM15,000 if you are the

For those who don't make to the top prize, there's a 2nd and 3rd prize of RM13,000 & RM 11,000.

Please note that the dogs has to be alive and kicking , and oh.. it will be audited by the committee. Just submit in a picture of the dogs as proof of capture and be on your way to winning the money.

* The Selayang Municipal Council will not be held responsible for any injury or damage caused by the individuals to the general public or themselves in their attempts to catch these stray dogs.

Happy hunting bam! bam!

It's a SICK act & INHUMANE. Whoever thought about this competition disregards morality.

This would not discourage strays. This competition would only encourage more cruelty towards these helpless animals. And what's to prevent the series of dog-napping that has been happening.

Pertandingan menangkap anjing :

1.Pertandingan adalah antara Jawatankuasa Penduduk dalam kawasan pentadbiran Majlis Perbandaran Selayang.

2.Tangkapan boleh dilaksanakan sama ada oleh Jawatankuasa Penduduk sendiri atau
dengan menggunakan bantuan pihak-pihak tertentu. Majlis Perbandaran Selayang
tidak bertanggungjawab atas upah penangkapan.

3.Tangkapan dilaksanakan tanpa menjejaskan undang-undang Kecil 10(2)(a) Undang-undang Kecil Pelesenan Anjing dan Rumah Pembiakan Anjing (Majlis Perbandaran Selayang) 2005.

4.Tangkapan hendaklah diserahkan hidup-hidup kepada urus setia pertandingan untuk pengiraan/audit. Gambar setiap ekor tangkapan juga hendaklah dikemukakan sebagai bukti tangkapan.

5. Pertandingan akan berjalan sepanjang masa.

6. Projek yang bernilai seperti ketetapan yang berikut :
Tempat Pertama :RM15,000
Tempat Kedua :RM13,000
Tempat Ketiga: RM11,000

This is my appeal :
Even if there is nothing much we can do, at least let there be enough of us to stand for what is right.

1. Create the awareness that there are other means to curb strays and not mindless dog hunts!

Responsible dog lovers / owners , PAWS & SPCA are already educating the public on
neutering / spaying the dogs ( Midnight was taken from SPCA).

Dog lovers and vets are opening homes to strays, to get them vaccinated and spayed and on a constant lookout for good homes for adoption ( July was adopted from a vet ).

The internet has become a popular forum to advocate this cause.

2. Let us plead to the government and the authorities to look into this matter and stop this campaign immediately.

3. Have your voice heard :
You can do this by highlighting this case in your blogs, by emailing all your contacts and by writing to the press. Contacts are as follows (thanks to Nut's research):

Malaysian Press

Mix FM;;;;

International organisations that you can write to:

Understand that dogs are not merely animals. To many, they are a part of the family, a companion and guiding light.

Losing Midnight was traumatic experience for our family. The pain will always be embedded in our hearts.What's more, to think of the many hundreds of howling poochies being torn away from homes or captured to be inhumanely slaughtered.

Stand up for your furfriends.