Friday, June 29, 2007

Twice bitten...

I got bitten again, this time by Pirellio. I'm only surprised it hasn't happened sooner. But the bite is quite bad and now I can't move my finger. As long as I don't lose it (my finger, not my mind), I'll be fine. Or maybe it's the shock talking...

As the CLP approaches, I have fluctuated between obsession and apathy. Isn't it strange how after getting bitten, I feel more positive, even more philosophical, about the exam? I think God sends signs like these to whip me in focus, to help me prioritise and to keep my burden light.

I could have lost a finger today.
A kindergarten girl was raped after school whilst waiting for her mum (reported by the Malay Mail today).
I am discovering that human beings are incredibly resilient in the face of adversity.

Some days I actually want to pass and think I can, not because being a lawyer is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid (dinosaur excavation was my hoped for forte) but because I see that I could make a real change, if not of the justice system as a whole, at least in a few people's lives. Admittedly, Law is not my passion (although I feel a sense of impish glee when I come up with loopholes scenarios the Law has yet to cover) but justice and upholding that justice is. Other days, I wonder whether life will be 'easier' if I never did Law again. I've been hammering at Law for 6 years now and each passing year I tell myself I don't want to do something for the sake of doing it yet each following year I find that I have 'qualified' for the next level and so, using the 'logical step' formula, I move on.

I would like to see what working in the hotel industry is like (I had a teeny-weeny bit of experience last year) and to see if people who are bankers actually know their figures. I would love to work in the stables; might even volunteer there whilst waiting for exam results. I want to take part in archaeological digs or study physical geography. I want to write, design and talk to people. If the gist of PR is talking and eating, I think I'd do that very well. The one thing that I would have, prima facie, absolutely no interest in doing, would be anything related to maths.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My day

D said I ride like a cartoon. Am not sure whether to take that as a compliment or an insult so I'm taking it as an I-have-my-own-style-of-riding comment. At least I can stay on the horse. Nyek nyek. The biggest problem I have with riding is not getting on, or off, or staying on; believe it or not, it's knowing where my left and right is; when D shouts, "Turn left!" I turn right and vice versa. It frustrates us both... I need to go back to kindergarten.

I love the smell of horses, I love the sound they make, the "hrumphs" they blow into my ear, the softness of their muzzle, the tautness of their girth, the way they paw the ground and snort at flies... A few days ago, in the middle of my slumber, I awoke with a start... because I could physically feel Starshine blow into my ear! I could smell her and hear her, just couldn't see her... most disconcerting. Sprite's foot seems to be healing well so that is good news but I don't think anyone will be able to ride her for at least 3 months. I've invited Daya and Billy to ride... maybe if they enjoy it as much as I do, I'll have a riding partner, not that I really need any except the horse :)

I started my second round of study today; for most other people, their second round of study probably occurred sometime between Christmas and Easter. Oh well...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Give me brain, more brain, more...

The CLP is less than a month away. Part of me feels like just quitting and running away from the big, bad, scary paper that could potentially dampen my illusions that I am in the top 12% of Malaysian brainiacs. Haha. The other part wants to fight this paper and win, whether or not I emerge a certified basketcase.

Sprite got injured a few days ago; a nail went right through her fetlock causing inflammation and visible swelling. As a result, she's now lame and will continue to be for at least 6 months, if not permanently. Although accidents happen, the riding school cannot afford to stable horses that do not bring in an income; by not being able to be ridden, Sprite becomes a liability and an expensive one at that. Coach told me she might be put down if the vet thinks the damage is too severe. I nearly cried. I would have offered impulsively to buy her had I the money so maybe it's a good thing I don't. I can't even afford a second hand car and come November, I will be broke, seeing as I have not been working for almost a year. It is rather depressing seeing my bank account slowly deplete and having no source to replenish it.

But enough with the sad thoughts that threaten to drown an otherwise fairly good day!! (starts singing really loudly),

#God sent His Son,
They call Him Jesus,
He came to love, heal and forgive,
He lived and died,
To buy my pardon,
An empty grave
is there
to prove
my Savior lives!
Because He lives,
I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives,
All fear is GONNNEEE,
Because I know (I know!),
He holds the future,
And life is WORTH the living,
Just because He lives.#

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I. Need. To. Exercise. Self-control.

As much as I don't think it will happen, this is a notice to inform the nice people who visit my blog that I may be taking a 3-week study break in the face of oncoming, unstoppable, torpedo-like exams.

N.B: When I say a 3-week break, I mean that I'll probably be blogging once every 3 days instead of 3 times a day.

N.B 2: Please note that I said may, not shall or will.

N.B 3: Furthermore, an implied exclusion can also be noted in the approximate first quarter of my first sentence which reads, "As much as I don't think it will happen."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Venus and Mars

Words women love to use:

Words men (sometimes) use to describe women:

Studying in Starbucks

1. Mobile: Serves as a distraction and mental stimulus; to play Bobby Carrot on or text friends with random questions or call parents to let them know I'm suffering.

2. Food: On that particular day, it was a citrus poppy seed muffin which was really good. Other times you'll find siren salad or rocky road or a chocolate chip cookie.

3. Drink: To keep me hydrated and my bladder healthy. I usually go for a Tazo shaken (not stirred) ice lemon tea, grande or a mango frappe. Sometimes I may be persuaded to buy a cream frappe but not coffee; it's bad for my system.

4. Tissue: Used as a coaster, table wipe, smudge cleaner and writing pad when I forget to bring paper and get hit by an inspiration for anything that needs to be jotted down quickly. On that particular day, it was a design.

5. Extra food; if I'm feeling healthy, raisins but for most days, sugar it is.

6. Tiger balm; I sniff this like a psycho.

7. Black pen to write notes in margins; I realised when I took this picture that I had left my favourite black pen (but thank goodness not my 'lucky' pen) at the post office :(

8. Highlighter; I've got through about 7 sticks I reckon.

9. Notes; what will I do without them?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Loyalties; confessions of playground deceit

I often find myself in situations where after diplomacy has done as much as it can, taking sides becomes necessary. No one likes a perpetual, proverbial fence sitter; both parties may actually find themselves in reluctant, temporary truce in a common goal to oust the fence sitter. Taking sides has become part of our social life. In primary school, it was taking sides with either the most popular girl in class or the other, when she and her best friend (second most popular girl in class) fell out. In office politics, there is the pro-boss camp and anti-boss, under-the-table, coffee-break-grumblers camp. We are always thrown an ultimatum one way or another, "If you're not with us, you're against us." Loyalties are always questioned, solidarity reinforced and motives scrutinised. As much as I want to stay loyal to myself, I am often caught up in the moment. In primary school (get ready for a confession of deceit) because I wanted to be 'friends' with both sides and didn't want any of my playground friendships on either side to fade, I became the designated, two-timing traitor. Completely underhanded, immoral (amoral?) and deceitful. Actually, it wasn't as awful as all that. Classmates from one clique saw that I had continued talking to people who were supposedly sent to Coventry and the head honchos (and all their minions) asked me why I was still associating with the 'other side.' My imagination made up some spy story in the fright of the moment of losing my friends which the rest of the group (and the rival group as well) took in. As a result, I was never really in a clique, always on the fringe, but able to talk to anyone I chose, at a price and cost to my integrity. I didn't like the situation I had put myself in but it was hard to get out of; it pulled hard on loyalty strings and made me (in my head anyway) a moral outcast, like a pirate I guess... or a parasite or saprophyte. Another result of sin, mixed in with never-ending imagination and ridiculous optimism, was that for a good few years of my life, I was a compulsive liar. Oooh, the things you didn't know about me... but this was primary school. Am now an honest penny and have gone from being scared of losing my friends to not caring what people think.

There are times when loyalties push other moral considerations such as justice aside. When a friend and boyfriend break up, dishing the dirt would be the most natural, most 'loyal' thing to do for your friend. It was for me anyway. When it happened, another friend told me that I had undermined justice for the sake of 'false' loyalty. It stung because it was true. I wasn't just concerned about my friend, I had taken a failed relationship that was about her and turned it into a cause that I had to champion; it wasn't about loyalty anymore, it was about revenge.

This morning I was torn again between loyalties; actually just between people. My current instructor, D, is by no means the best in the business. I know it and he knows it. He has even told me so himself. The problem arises when a third party, not someone in direct authority but with sufficient status to do so, wants to take over my lessons. This person, whom we'll call L, coaches other coaches to coach in short, L is really good in teaching. It is true I had been moaning about wanting a better coach but that was when I hadn't fully understood that horses don't and can't fly. At the moment, I am content going at the pace D thinks I should go at because he does after all, know more than I do and my brain is otherwise occupied with trying to memorise statute for exams. I don't mind, if after this riding package expires in 8 lessons time, L takes over, I might even want L to coach me seeing as I would probably learn a lot more. However, the way L staged the 'coup' left me feeling like I owed D my loyalty. I am satisfied with D even though I might be a much better rider in 8 lessons with L than in 20 lessons with D. It is usually a hard call to choose between betterment and loyalty; I hope that I will go for loyalty everytime and it is hoped that others would show the same loyalty to me although I always live in expectation of betrayal. I suppose being a playground traitor does make an impact on one's life...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Combating mosquitoes

I hate mosquitoes or any type of bug with a vengeance, not because I'm scared of them, but because they all bite me. My grandmother used to say it is because I am sweet and my dad tells me to eat more vitamin B because apparently Vit B emits a smell that mosquitoes do not like and so stay away from. The most annoying thing is that my skin reacts badly to being bitten and the bites don't just disappear, they turn into chickenpox size scars and remain for years. I have a whole range of mosquito repellent products in my room which I use each night from patches to electric heat repellents to stick repellents, aerosol and even socks! Yet every morning I wake up with new bite marks (and yes, my windows are always shut). Someone, help me!

Dark-eyed beauty

I had to ride the most bad-tempered horse in the school today. Pirellio. He doesn't even thank me for carrots; he chomps them down and expects more immediately and if he's not satisfied, bares his teeth, folds back his ears, kicks and bites. He's the only horse in the stables I wouldn't groom or bathe, yet. Interestingly enough, we make a pretty good team when I'm in the saddle. Ali has been moving me around different horses lately so that I will get used to riding any horse with any rhythm. I wonder who I'll ride tomorrow. D'Artagnan had some serious vices and his mouth doesn't work the bit properly but his body hugs better so I would like to try him out again. As much as I have a soft spot for Starshine, she is getting on in age and to ease her back problems, only children ride her now or really light grown-ups. Sprite is lovable as ever but is rather erratic on the track. Sometimes she trots on mindless of rider and sometimes she just refuses to move. I doubt Ali will let me ride PK for a long time to come even though I've learnt how to get on a horse of any size without needing help from a box, chair, fence or the horse 'sitting down.'

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Per Incurium

Per incurium = through carelessness

My temper caught me off guard again yesterday. Words which were meant as a goodwill gesture turned me indignant and my anger flared. Curt words ensued, followed soon after by an apology, from me. This scenario has played countless times in my life and everytime I apologise, I get mixed feelings; the indignation is still burning strong but I know that the mistake, if there were a mistake present in the first place, shifts to my door because of unnecessary biting remarks. This is one dog with bark and bite. Dogs like that tend to go to the pound...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Pun intended

Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Look away if you're squeamish

I mentioned a few days ago that I got bitten by a horse. This is the bruise that resulted. I still love horses and I don't think the horse should be put down or anything like that. This is the second largest bruise I've ever had. The largest was 2 years ago which was a result of falling down whilst playing basketball; the bruise covered half the front my shin and was so bad that my then neighbour, Caroline, stopped me on the street and wondered if I was a victim of domestic violence (hooray for people like Caroline who care). My third largest bruise was when I was 16 and fell running up the stairs for extra Additional Maths class. However, my most serious bruise was when I was 11; I contracted scarlet fever from falling down. I bruise really easily and although I think it's half fun to scare people with the coloured bruises I get (they turn orange, yellow and green sometimes), it's also annoying to feel a numb ache, cramped and just general discomfort for a week or so and many tell me that falling down and bruising myself when I'm young will not help me when I get older and have to deal with arthritis and oesteoperosis.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My father's daughter

It's Father's Day tomorrow but I don't see why I can't blog about it today after all, my dad is as much my dad today as he will be tomorrow, in fact even more so my dad today than tomorrow because we never know when tomorrows will cease. I'm not very good at mushy sentimentality for all the oestrogen bestowed on me. I can write out reasons why I love someone or enjoy their company or appreciate their friendship but I can't actually come out and say it. Perhaps it's a flaw or maybe I just show my feelings in other ways; in cards, texts, posts, messages, presents, coffee or tea or juice, time, being there. With my parents it's no different. One of the very few memories I have of hugging my dad was in Primary 5, aged 10, after a big fight before school. I was being sulky, rude and plain difficult, stomping around the house, slamming car doors and dragging my feet. I even made my dad carry my school bag to class. I was moody and wanted to show it, not caring whom I hurt with what I said or did but as I saw my dad's back disappear down the stairs for work, after putting my bag on the chair, I had a sinking feeling of dread and guilt and ran after him and started crying because I was sorry I had been such a pain. For all my tantrums, my dad rarely retaliated and I just wanted him to know that despite my childish and erratic behaviour I still loved him.

Maybe it's because we're a family of pragmatists. When I first left home for London, I suddenly got a bit emotional at the airport but it felt out of place to hug my parents (even though I hugged my brother) so we shook hands instead.

Anyway, my dad's amazing. He has hair a 30-year old would envy, knows more about law than I do (medicine law anyway), speaks four languages (I think) and can fix anything from taps to broken shoes to a stalled engine. I remember thinking he was like McGuyver cos he once repaired one sandal in the Waterfront with a bit of string. He remembers to feed my dog, tends to the garden every Sunday, does housework and cooks. When my dad cooks, usually on a Sunday, it's a special occasion because he uses one main ingredient and creates about 5 dishes. For example, we would have honey ginger chicken, honey chilli chicken, fried honey chicken, honey chicken soup, honey chicken with onions etc. He also likes using coca-cola as one of his 'secret' ingredients. My dad is an active participant in looking-for-the-school-report-card-the-day-before-it's-due, looking-for-school-badges-first-thing-in-the-morning and Primary school artwork. Our morning 'ritual' every school day included dad going, "Got your nametag?" Check. "Got your belt?" Check. "Got your PJ (Pendidikan Jasmani - gym) clothes?" Check. Sometimes we'd say "Yes, yes, yes," but then halfway to school, realise that we (my sis and I) didn't have it. Sometimes he would drive us home again to get it, else we'd be scolded by the prefects or disciplinarian if we were caught.

My dad is generous, kind, patient, responsible, reliable and punctual (although for someone completely impossible like me even punctual is not enough; half and hour before things start is my preference, except to class). He does DIY, locates dead rats in attics, irons every night, builds dog houses, mends t-shirts and taught me about chlorophyll way before the teachers did in secondary school. He is however, strict when it comes to certain things namely homework and if it was left undone til bedtime, we would have to stay up all night completing it. He did 'spot checks' on our homework and if he found any not done or any missing pages (a lot on my part) we'd either be caned or have to write out however many times "I will do my homework in the future" or words to that effect. Being the sneaky person that I am, I found a place to hide my work when I was 9 and thought that I never had to do maths again! Wrong. I received a beating which I can still remember til today but I think it hurt him more than it did me. I think bringing me (and my sis and bro but they're easier to handle :p) up was the best thing my dad did; I'm so glad he didn't quit on me even after I threw a ruckus about not being able to watch Superman the night before UPSR (public exam) when I was 12. He conceded in the end and I managed to catch half an hour of a programme I no longer remember.

My dad turns 52 this year and that's a scary thought. Even though people can still climb mountains and go on marathons at 80, I consider 50 old. I feel that the responsibility has shifted to me to look after things whatever they may be yet I feel totally unequipped. I have a degree but what is that worth in day-to-day issues? It cannot prepare me to possibly 'give up' my travelling instincts to look after my parents, it cannot help me discern when I'm to take charge or when I'm still under their charge, it definitely won't help in preparing me to have kids of my own. I kind of like me but I don't think I would want to be a parent of me. Kudos to my parents.

Above all, my dad loves Jesus. Being the naturally selfish human being that I am, I often underestimate the power of God to have relationships with others other than myself. So when I wanted to become a missionary, I didn't dare tell my dad as his word is 'law.' In my mind, if I chose the wrong time to tell him and he said no, the path to mission work would be shut off for a considerable period of time. But I told him anyway and to my surprise he was supportive, even suggesting ways I could ensure financial stability so as not to 'burden' the church and still do mission work. I don't know my dad the way God does. All I know is what I can see, which is limited by my own constraints of time and space. But I know that I am very proud of my dad and I love him very much.

Happy Father's Day, Pa.

Friday, June 15, 2007

I love you, baby, trust in me when I say...

Whilst my dealings with Malaysia in itself is a love-hate issue, there are some things that remind me, that despite the turbulent relationship at hand, I am still Malaysian no matter where I go and even if I ever change my political status..

Axe oil (hong iu/ cap kapak) and Tiger balm. I bring a bottle of this stuff wherever I travel. Once I put 20 drops of axe oil into a bowl of hot water to stop my nose running and my (ex)housemate Sarah could smell it even though she was upstairs and I was downstairs and both our doors were shut. It gets addictive after a while. Maybe that's why I love it...

The lekor I blogged about in a previous entry. It's basically fish and flour, deep fried.

Banana fritters: these were fried using pisang emas nangka (golden jackfruit bananas).

The infamous nasi lemak. The direct translation means fat rice ad I suppose if you had this everyday and didn't exercise, you would put on weight but the same can be said for most other consummable products. Sometimes it's served with chicken or beef curry.

Who's she?

Your Score: Katharine Hepburn

You scored 28% grit, 28% wit, 42% flair, and 16% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Thursday, June 14, 2007

She bit me

She bit the shoulder connected to the hand that fed her carrots! Thank goodness it wasn't Sprite or Starshine else I would have been more upset. Am now proudly sporting big bruise with teeth marks annexed on my right shoulder.

Exams are in 33 days. I am slowly going crazy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pisang goreng

I wanted to show you guys a photo of one of the reasons why I love Malaysia namely, banana fritters but I ate them on the way home!

I get the weirdest dreams sometimes; dreams I wouldn't even dare repeat to others and the ones I do dare share are bizarre enough already. The problem wth strange, non-sensical dreams is that they occur when I am particularly stressed. When I am stressed I need to be alert, to be able to think or act as soon as the situation calls for it but these dreams cause me to exist in a daze the whole day until it's time for bed again which, naturally, undermines productivity. It is very disturbing and annoying when things like this happen.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I *heart* Malaysia

The brainchild of Life's Legalities:

The I *heart* Malaysia Challenge:

If you want to know why, go here --> permalink

The reason I love Malaysia is largely because of all the experiences I've had here although culture does have a lot to do with it as well so here are my 50 reasons:

1. The way as youngsters we called everyone 'uncle' or 'aunty' without knowing, even possibly never knowing their real name. It doesn't matter. Community does.

2. I really, really like the crispy Malaysian apam balik. It used to be sold in front of Everrise in BDC, Kuching but it's no longer there. When I found out I was so upset until I found apam balik again by the Masjid Jamek station in KL.

3. I love the month leading up to City Day in Kuching because it is when all the different foodstalls from around the state gather in the Town Hall and lots of people go to eat together. There's a variety you wouldn't normally try, like ostrich burgers, which can get you going for weeks and though you get hot and sticky and sweaty, that's part of the fun (the only time I don't mind)! There'll also be a ferris wheel, garden show, amusement park, cotton candy and helium filled, coloured balloons which even today I'd buy to take home.

4. The old-fashioned pasar malam that used to be in Satok, Kuching! As kiddies, my sister and I would walk around behind our parents keeping count of how many people's bottoms we could smack (and get away with)! And we didn't mind that we stepped in puddles or got grime between our toes. It was part of the fun.

5. Kolo mee rules. Especially the one in Sekama, Kuching called Mr. Brown. I love the irony that some kolo mee sellers drive Mercedeses...

6. Kampua mee rules next to kolo mee. In Sibu, you can still get it for under RM2!

7. I love the wooden hawker stalls around Kenyalang or Palm Road, Kuching, that served fried noodles or kueh tiaw. We would sit on wooden, ricketty chairs at one small table with three or four complete strangers and get smoke from the wok in our faces. Now it's more modern, tiled and concrete, but I love the old days...

8. Traditional dances that you can't find anwhere else in the world. In Primary School we used to go to Cultural Village once a year to support our school team. Some of the stunts pulled like balancing atop an 8-feet tall bamboo pole, were simply amazing.

9. I love the way Malaysians love food; the selection of food available at hotels is as important (if not more) than the meeting itself, negotiations are made as much over a plate of roti canai as they are on the golf course and any reason to eat and be merry is a reason to celebrate.

10. We're more than bilingual. We're trilingual, often quad-lingual. Speaking three languages is not a privilege or a talent or anything extraordinary; in fact if you can't speak at least three languages, people think there's something wrong with you.

11. The grin on the face of the bald, chicken rice man who operated near my dad's shop. He always gave us kids extra chicken :)

12. Travelling in longboats to the interior, wondering if you're going to tip over any moment.

13. Bathing in the river because we want to rather than because we have to.

14. Dunking Jacobs crackers in Milo after getting caught in the rain.

15. When you go to the movies, you don't have to predict when you need to look away because it has been 'suitably' censored.

16. You can still find cows in fields along the roadside in the middle of the city. There used to be cows by Mendu Road in Kuching which I used to look out for on the way to school for years.

17. I can go horse riding in the middle of KL.

18 Affordable, air-conditioned public transport. It beats the stuffy tube in London on a summer's day, seriously!

19. I love the way Malaysians know how to have a good time. Even if it's raining, we will still go out in force and sit huddled under umbrellas whilst sitting on plastic bags to enjoy a parade or a show in the stadium.

20. Using the express boat to Marudi from Miri instead of driving or using the plane allows you to see quaint villages along the Sarawak river and women and children bathing in sarongs. Sitting in front of the boat with the wind blowing in my hair makes me feel more at home in Sarawak than almost any other time.

21. In smaller towns and villages, people are always willing to open their homes and share their food with friends or strangers who need help despite not being materially well off.

22. Fresh sugar cane, squeezed on the spot.

23. You know there'll still be places to eat at 4 in the morning.

24. To combat public criticism, floor dryers that you can find in the toilets at Jaya Supermarket, section 14... Those dryers keep feet dry and floors clean; better than my college toilets!

25. If anyone tries pull too much attitude, you know there will be people to sit on you and put you back in your place.

26. When there was a flood in my mum's hometown, we played in the muddy water all day!!!

27. Having friends of different ethnicity, religion and backgrounds means living amongst and with different cultures and beliefs is the status quo, not an anomaly.

28. Being able to wander in the jungle picking wild vegetables like bidin and paku. There's nothing like the taste of wild vegetables.

29. I love riding the rush wave before major celebrations such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya or Deepavali. The energy that drives it makes festive seasons something for the whole community to look forward to.

30. Planting fruits, vegetables and jagung in the back garden or wherever there was space.

31. Food fairs!!! Usually to raise funds for schools, charities, churches... If we were part of the organisation raising funds, we would provide capital to buy the food, then give our time selling the food and give more money buying the food we had already paid for. The irony is part of the fun.

32. Visiting friends during festive seasons. It's by no means safe, but being squashed like sardines in a car to go from house to house to eat, talk and appreciate our friends was always part of the excitement.

33. Ethnically diverse houses that belong to the Ibans, Melanau, Bidayuh etc that can be found nowhere else in the world. The wooden steps carved into logs (no handrails) that you have to climb to get into a Melanau house is often only about 8 inches wide and the 'first floor' can be 20 metres or more above ground!

34. Even if it's 11pm and my friend and I want a drink, we go to our usual mamak shop in Bangsar and order up to four teh tariks a person!

35. Pockets of parks and reservoirs throughout cities, opened to public to exercise, jog, spend time with family and friends and generally relax away from the smell and sounds of the city. eg Reservoir park, Stutong park...

36. I love Malaysia because we are united in our apparent diversity, not built on statutes or law but friendship, trust and commitment.

37. As children (under 12), it is normal go out shopping in your pyjamas although nowadays when I'm in a rush I still do it.

38. Malaysians would drive 2 hours just to pick the best seafood... or durian.

39. Wet markets; where we actually get to see what our food looks like; head, legs and all.

40. Catching tadpoles in drains or in stagnant puddles in fields, under the hot sun.

41. Traditional sports such as gasing, wau, sepak raga and silat.

42. We are always up for crazy challenges such as eating sago worms (live).

43. I love the respect we show our elders. For example, even if we don't particularly like our teachers, we still show them our appreciation and love on occasions such as Teachers' Day where it's okay to not sit still during assembly as we put on a right grand show for them!

44. We believed in the power of dreams before Honda did.

45. Although it's illegal, activities like selling pirated DVDs and rooster-fights (the owners attach a knife to the rooster's leg, the aim being for one rooster to kill the other) do bring out a side of what it's like to live in Malaysia that you won't get from holiday posters.

46. Tomato mee (crispy), tomato mee (yellow noodle), tomato kueh tiaw, wanton mee, wanton dry, wanton soup, gu bak mi (beef noodles), kueh chap, chah kueh, rojak (local salad with peanuts and spicy-sweet sauce), tripe in chilli, chicken feet in soy sauce, ulam, keropok and achar (pickles), Hokkien mee, pig's tail in black bean soup, pig's trotter, Cantonese mee, hu ngang (Foochow soup noodles), pattaya fried rice, yam basket, sea cucumber soup, lo mai kai (gulutinuos rice), tausa pau (redbean paste steamed bun), char siu pau (roasted pork bun), bak chang (gulutinuos rice in pandan leaf), dim sum, White Lady, Red Eye, Mangolime, Wheatgrass, Yeo's green tea, mee pok, bak kut teh (pork and tofu herb soup), butter prawns, bamboo chicken, banana leaf rice, oh jien (oyster pancake), claypot rice, Hainan chicken rice... I'm sooo hungry right now....

47. Unfortunately part of the reason why I love Malaysia is because our politicians are laughable; we don't laugh with them, we laugh at them. Not all of them though. some actually have comon sense.

48. Local fritters in banana, sweet potato, yam and more, plus 3 different types of lekor (fish), which we always eat when on a long car journey.

49. Having picnics in Rancang Pool or the Matang River.

50. Because God loves Malaysia.

Bye-bye Mark

Mark, the thinker?

Today Mark flew off to the UK, which means we'll no longer be able to share:

Henry VIII questions
PTC sessions about the Holy Spirit
Irrelevant questions in PTC
Interesting information about bacteria losing their DNA
Nasi Kandar
Backstreet Boys songs sung badly
Bible studies
Sarcastic comments
Real life pokes
Only-in-my-dreams gobstoppers
Observations; such as Malaysian contractors and engineers love concrete
Carbon dating
Games Night
Butter Pork
Cozy House
PTC exams
Irish dancing
Fireworks on New Year's Eve
Chris' dinosaur 'hatching'
SMACC team

BUT, we'll still be sharing:
Virtual pokes
Jesus Christ crucified
... and I can still ask silly questions online

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Billy who?

Today was disappointing. I clearly did not study enough, allowed myself to get persuaded to buy a venti instead of grande and couldn't concentrate on my personal injury claims because of this guy who serves in Starbucks, who knows my name and (somebody kick me) is cute. I should be locked away in a convent.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hide and seek

Sometimes, one gets glimpses of what Heaven or the New Creation to be exact, will be like. Obviously we won't know what it looks like until we get there but there are treasured points in time when the world turns at just the right angle, when like a trick of a hand or a well-rehearsed magic show, a little bit of what it could be like to be perfect is revealed to us, we become a 'Moses' in the cleft of a giant rock, as God's glory passes by and we catch a glimpse of a promised future through a crack (Exodus 33:18-23).

It's easy to get bogged down by the world's definition of how self-worth is measured. It's easy to be worried that you won't live up to expectations that others have set, that you yourself have set, regardless of whether you have the ability to actually achieve what you set out to do. It's easy to keep wondering when the paycheck will come in, or if you'll ever see a paycheck. It's easy to be swayed. I don't think I have depression as doctors might diagnose it but I certainly do get depressed and sporadically, sometimes more often than others. I know certain foods contribute to mood swings of various degrees (anything containing sugar *sigh*) and yet when I'm at my lowest, I purposely look for these foods to punish myself for one reason or another, which invariably lead to more extreme mood swings. Womens' mags do nothing for self-esteem and regurgitate bitterness, hypocrisy, vanity and a struggle for power whether in the workplace or in the bedroom, our inheritance of the first battle between the sexes. They reek of secularism and living for yourself for the here and now; harmful yet addictive.

I have been feeling rubbed the wrong way for quite some time but today, for the briefest of moments, as I washed my horse down (and got drenched as well), it felt like Heaven and the best part is that though the feeling was fleeting, I know that one day it will be reality.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Carrot heads

Saw Daya (that's the name of the girl across the corridor who always sees me in Starbucks studying) today and chatted for a bit. Bought another bag of carrots. I think this must be my 15th bag... Daya thought I use them to make carrot juice cos I buy 2 bags every week. Carrot juice. Not a bad idea. Hate the thought but not a bad idea.

Section 7 CLA 1956: dependancy claim. Dependant is spelt with 2 'e's and an 'a.'
Section 8 CLA 1956; estate claim.
Section 28A CLA 1956; personal injury.

Now you can go tell your lawyers where to look.

16 going on 16

I don't want to grow up.
I don't want to enter the working world.
I don't want to be responsible for someone else.
I don't want to care about being responsible.
I don't want my account to dwindle out and die (it's getting there).
I don't want to get in the sun.
I don't want to study.
I don't want to have to study.
I don't want to have to take exams.
I don't want to wake up 32 stone and waddling like a whale, or a duck, cos whales can't waddle.
I don't want to want to sleep all the time.
I don't want to feel like I have no choice.
I don't want to do my best.
I don't want, I don't want, I don't want.

I want to be a cow.
I want to be a bitch.
I want to be catty.
I want to be a chicken.
I want to be a goose.
I want to be a pig.
I want to be a rat.
Oh wait. I am. All the above. Tick, tick, tick.

Don't listen to me, it's just a phase I go through. Unfortunately I think it's part of growing up.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


There was an old man, a bit weird,
He said, "Oh my, tis just as I feared,
Two larks and a hen,
Six doves and a wren,
are making their nests in my beard!"

On Mondays if you go to the zoo,
A treasure hunt; for Sam Kangaroo,
He hops here and there,
We look everywhere,
And always find him next to Baloo.

There was a giraffe with a cold,
Said, "Pray if I may be so bold,
From me stay away,
For all of today,
These sneezes I really can't hold."

An exam that is called CLP,
Has very few friends close to he,
For he marks people down,
Makes us mad, cross and frown,
Yet wonders why people don't come for tea.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Two days wrong

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. `What day of the month is it?' he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to his ear.

Alice considered a little, and then said `The fourth.'

`Two days wrong!' sighed the Hatter. `I told you butter wouldn't suit the works!' he added looking angrily at the March Hare.

`It was the best butter,' the March Hare meekly replied.

`Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,' the Hatter grumbled: `you shouldn't have put it in with the bread-knife.'

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: then he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, `It was the best butter, you know.'

Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. `What a funny watch!' she remarked. `It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!'

`Why should it?' muttered the Hatter. `Does your watch tell you what year it is?'

`Of course not,' Alice replied very readily: `but that's because it stays the same year for such a long time together.'

`Which is just the case with mine,' said the Hatter.

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. `I don't quite understand you,' she said, as politely as she could.

Of all the things Lewis Carroll came up with, the Mad Hatter's Tea party is certainly one of his brightest, most wonderfully illogical pieces of work. I read it whenever I think the world is getting too serious, when studying gets a tad dull, when things start making sense and when I just need to recharge my outlook in life. I have been working well towards my CLP and from experience, when things start going well, Murphy shows up. So before Murphy comes knocking on my door, I'm going to arm myself with silliness so that I'll scare Murphy away for if Murphy is the logic behind reason, the only way I'll ever beat logic is to be so illogical that logic can't find me. If I should hear Murphy's footsteps come up the garden path, although I don't have a garden or a garden path, I'll gather in all the forces of spit to blow raspberries into his face.

I think the more I know about God, the bigger God's ear might have to be, although I'm sure it's big enough as it is for if God's ears were not big enough or enough, period, it would mean He failed to foresee that He would need bigger ears, then He wouldn't be God anymore. Anyway, why do I think God might need bigger ears? For example, I have been learning about praying in faith. Asking God to help me pass my exam does not fall under the umbrella of "Ask and you will receive" even though prima facie, it seems that all you need to do is ask. Trust me it's not. I've tried. It didn't work. However it does not mean that God does not work, neither does it mean that I used the wrong 'magic words' to make God work for me. God doesn't work for me. But wait. The Bible says God works for the good of those who love Him. Isn't it good that I pass my exam? Yes it is, but it wouldn't be praying in faith. Why? Because the Bible never said, "Ask and you will pass your exams." It never said "Ask and you will grow 6 inches" or "Ask and you wouldn't like so-and-so anymore." So what is praying in faith? Praying in faith is praying in accordance with God's Word a.k.a the Bible. So whilst praying for the train to come quickly may not be praying in faith (it's just wishful thinking that God will make the train not stop at the previous station so that it'll arrive faster but that's clearly against principles of justice), praying that God will open the eyes, mind and heart of a friend is praying in faith. Whether or not the friend comes to faith is a matter between him and God. Nothing we can do or offer can save him, we can only tell and explain to him the gospel but even understanding comes only from God. So now that I know all this 'extra' stuff (previously unknown) my prayers are twice as long. To my alarm, I often think I'm babbling (the Bible doesn't seem to like that very much) but if I don't 'talk it out,' there'll be constant great silences between God and I, as I pause repeatedly to make sure what I am about to say is worth saying before saying it. Instead of just saying, "I pray that I'll pass my exams, in Jesus name, Amen," now it's more like,

"I pray that I'll pass my exams but am I praying in faith? Cos if I'm not praying in faith then I really shouldn't be asking to pass my exams cos that would be worse than not praying. Would it be worse than not praying? No, it can't be worse than not praying because at least I'm talking to You and You're patient and You know everything so even if I'm talking rubbish and don't know it, You know it and I pray that You won't get angry if I'm asking for things that I don't know I shouldn't be asking for. But then if it's a sin then You've dealt with it on the cross and so You're my father but You're also God. So do I approach You like I approach my father? What if it's wrong because You're God and that's not the way I'm meant to approach You? ..." and it goes on and on and on.

I am only grateful that knowing me as He does, God still chose to save me. Cos I'm really bad cos I'm a sinner and that's awful but now that God has rescued me for something amazing I shouldn't be proud of my sin or wear it like a badge and go around with my head down looking gloomy saying, "Oh God has saved me. What do I do now? I'm so bad. Why did God save me? I have done all these bad things. I can't forgive myself. Bla bla bla..." because doing that is dangerous. It focuses on the sin rather than the enormity of the saving power of the cross. It doesn't mean we shouldn't be sorry and repent of our sin and it doesn't mean we should be happy clappy all the time. It just means we should understand that our sin is bad but God is bigger than that.

Yes, there's this exam to get through and often I get overwhelmed by the amount I don't know but it'll be over by July 25th with results in October and pass or fail, I've learnt how to ride a horse, went to Sungai Buluh to see kite flying, shared Christ with friends, will be going travelling, will still enjoy food, will still enjoy designing, can still have a dog, still blog, still read Alice in Wonderland, still laugh, still sing, still dance, am still, will still, be a child of God and NOTHING any government or judiciary or legislation may come up with can take that away (blows raspberries at the CLP exam).

Friday, June 01, 2007

Sometimes good, usually bad, often ugly

It is a pity that the relief from finishing Evidence today (although I have to go back to it to refresh and emboss it to memory) was overshadowed by familiar feelings of dissatisfaction, uncertainty and discontent. I nearly missed my horse riding lesson today because I overslept. Knowing that I need a lot of sleep in order to rise at the sound of the alarm, I insisted on watching "So You Think You Can Dance (Malaysia)". Never again. The programme isn't worth time spent or time lost the next day. A comment made by someone almost a week ago still lingers, sending me either to the fridge and then to self-loathing or to guilty pleasures, eyeing up and wanting to embrace 'forbiddens' to relief the stress, which leads to more self-loathing. There is also the small matter of resetting emotional barriers and boundaries, reclaiming territory, drawing lines that have been crossed, mending (or trying to) a heart that will never mend, hardening it, resolving that nothing will ever go near it again.

On a more trivial note, I now know the name of the guy who serves me at Starbucks.